Friday 9 July 2021 6:33 pm

Murdoch shuts down aggregation site Knewz after 18 months

Rupert Murdoch’s media empire has shut down its news aggregation site Knewz after just 18 months, saying it had failed to pull in a profit.

News Corp set up Knewz in January 2020 in a bid to claw back advertising revenue from Google.

The site, which had a garish yellow backdrop, aggregated news articles from other publishers, showing a headline that linked directly to other publishers’ websites.

The venture was intended to ensure publishers would not be “relegated in the rankings” — an apparent reference to Google’s search algorithm.

“We started Knewz as an experiment in news aggregation because we wanted to gather a diverse range of quality journalism, to highlight all sides of every story and to protect and project provenance,” read a statement on the website.

“We certainly had provenance, but not profits, and so we bid Knewz farewell. Thank you to the millions of Knewz users who saw the value of the service and supported our mission.”

Knewz was launched at the height of a conflict between Murdoch’s media group and tech giants over complaints that publishers were not adequately recompensed for news content.

In February News Corp inked a three-year deal with Google that will see the US tech giant pay to use the publisher’s news content. 

News Corp, which owns titles such as the Times, the Sun and the Wall Street Journal, said it will provide “trusted journalism from its news sites around the world in return for significant payments by Google”.