The Hanoitimes – Vietnam should follow the EU’s steps in applying law to better revenue sharing between social media platforms and all content creators including newspapers and magazines.
The two tech giants have increasingly gained revenue in Vietnam, sending the local press industry struggling. To make the picture clearer, the online advertising revenue in 2010 in Vietnam was only around US$10 million, of which Google’s and Facebook’s just made up a small amount.
Now the combined revenue of those two largest cross-border platforms in 2018 astonishingly surged to US$387 million, swallowing the biggest portion of online advertising of US$550 million.
In the meantime, the rate of press agencies earning revenue from online advertising plummeted to 31% in 2018 and will continue to fall to 29% in 2019 compared to 81% in 2010.
Also according to a 2018 report of the Central Commission for Communication and Education of the Communist Party of Vietnam, the revenue from online and printed press in Vietnam was VND4.9 trillion (US$210 million) in 2018 and that of television was VND10 trillion (US$429 million).
The figures pose the question about ads business of Facebook and Google as those platforms earned millions of dollars by sharing and citing contents, news articles of local content creators and press agencies but aversely shared the revenue with them, who eventually are accountable to the contents, VietNamNet reported.
Unfortunately, the Vietnamese government is still struggling to tax those revenues of Facebook and Google.
At the beginning of this year, policy expert Nguyen Quang Dong from the Institute for Policy Studies and Communication Development IPS raised his view that Vietnam should follow the EU’s steps in applying law to better revenue sharing between social media platforms and all content creators including newspapers and magazines.
The law is considered a move to guarantee the rights of press agencies which play significant role in providing contents for the social media platforms.
The dominace of social media platforms
The US-based Pew Research Institute’s reports showed that 80% of Vietnamese considered social media positive while just a mere 6% thought it is negative. As a result, despite some undeniable negative social consequences it has caused, social media is still regarded as an essential source of information.
Under the Facebook’s algorithm, users mostly see in their news feed stories which are relevant to them as it ranks the contents based on users’ reactions on previous posts. This could lead to the display of a part of the truth, not the whole of it, which negatively affect people and businesses. However, media experts said, this algorithm may become strength of mainstream press.
These press agencies are unable to compete with the social platforms in terms of speed but it is the accuracy and the honesty of the delivered information that guarantee its value and existence, according to Chairman and CEO of Le Group of Companies Le Quoc Vinh.
By 2021, it is forecast that over 3 billion people in the world would be subscribers of social media platforms while Vietnam would see 57.43% of its population using Facebook, 12.81% watching YouTube and the numbers continue to rise.