On June 22, 2023, Canada passed the Online News Act. The act requires internet search engines and social media platforms to pay Canadian online news companies to link to their websites. The Canadian government put forth the law because advertising had seen a major shift from news organizations to social media and search engine marketing. The goal of the new law is to enhance the sustainability of the Canadian digital news market. To no one’s surprise, Meta and Google have had strong responses.
Meta said in a statement released last month that they are removing news from Facebook and Instagram in Canada. This move means news organizations will not be able to share articles across the meta platforms. Nick Clegg, Meta’s President of Global Affairs released a statement in May saying “The world is constantly changing and publishers, like everyone else, have to adapt. Asking a social media company in 2023 to subsidize news publishers for content that isn’t that important to our users is like asking email providers to pay the postal service because people don’t send letters anymore.”
Google has also begun testing the removal of news links from its search engine, along with Google News and Google Discover in the Canadian market. Google states that Canadians could still get news from international outlets without issue.
Both organizations have stated that while news organizations benefit from sharing their content on their platforms, the platforms don’t really gain much value from the presence of those news organizations.
How Subtext Can Help
With Canadian news organizations, in essence, forced off Meta and Google, marketers are left to figure out where to best re-allocate their resources to maintain readership and accessibility. By investing in SMS, news organizations are empowered to own their relationship with their audience by being able to reach and engage with them directly.
SMS is an efficient use of resources because it drives immediate results. Texts sent via Subtext are opened 98% of the time and over 80% of those texts are read within 3 minutes. From there, our clients are seeing click-through rates of over 20%. This showcases how SMS can drive not just meaningful engagement around your organization but to your organization's website.
Related to Subtext's international capabilities, Subtext can operate anywhere and will provide you with a local number, allowing seamless communication with audiences anywhere. In addition, Subtext is compliant with the latest privacy legislations worldwide, from GDPR to CAN-SPAM and more by being an opt-in-only platform.
Some Canadian newsrooms, like the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, already have SMS campaigns with Subtext that they can ramp up to distribute content and engage audiences in response to the Online News Act. CBC worked with Subtext to launch multiple SMS campaigns starting in 2021 to engage audiences around various topics such as food insecurity in the Calgary region, what issues workers are facing in the Toronto area, and how younger generations are affected by social media and entertainment. Across its campaigns, CBC saw its audience was hyper-engaged via SMS, resulting in an engagement rate of 69%.
Texting is a powerful way for news organizations to connect with their audiences without the threat of changing social media policy. If you're interested in learning more about Subtext's capabilities, find time to talk with our team here.