1. Microsoft Urges US To Make Tech Giants Pay For News (WSJ)

Microsoft President Brad Smith urged the US to copy Australia’s proposal, asking tech companies to pay various newspapers for content, putting it at odds with Google and Facebook. This feud has been on for a long time now, and Microsoft doesn’t plan to go easy with their plans to take over the Australian Online news space.

2. Disney+ Reaches 94.9M Subscribers Globally (Variety)

Disney Plus announced that it had reached 94.9 million paid subscribers on January 2, 2021. Just one month ago, on December 2, 2020, there were 86.8 million subscribers of the streaming platform. It showed a surge of more than 8 million in one month. It now expects 230 to 260 million total paid subscribers by September 2024.

3. New York Times Testing Digital Subscription For Kids (Axios)

The New York Times is in the early stages of developing a digital subscription product for families called NYT Kids, executives tell Axios. NYT currently has 7.5 million subscribers, and the move is largely seen as a attempt to further expand its subscription base. “There’s a big market of kids out there,” says David Perpich, Head of Standalone Products at NYT. “There are 33 million households with kids under the age of 18.”

4. Google Promises To Fix Ad Platform Bug That Unwittingly Discrimnated Against Nonbinary People (Engadget)

An investigation by nonprofit newsroom The Markup found that Google’s ads dashboard allowed employers and landlords to prevent people of “unknown gender” — that is individuals who don’t identify as either male or female — from seeing their advertisements. The company said it would fix the oversight after The Markup shared its findings.

5. Zynga Eyes Building Its Own Ad Network To Expand Addressable Market (AdExchanger)

With $616 million revenue, up 52% year over year, for quarter 4, the online and mobile gaming developer Zynga reached its all-time best revenue at $1.97 billion in 2020. Zynga is now planning to build its own ad network to expand its addressable market, according to Frank Gibeau, Zynga’s CEO.

6. Twitter Bans Project Veritas’ Account And Temporarily Locks James O’Keefe’s Account (The Wrap)

Project Veritas is a “non-profit journalism enterprise” famous for using secret recordings and often misleading edited footage exposing “corruption” at mainstream media outlets. Its Twitter account was blocked after the account posted a video confronting a Facebook vice president outside his home. The account had more than 700,000 followers when it was banned.

7. Facebook Reports Double-Digit Drop-In Hate Speech And Harmful Content, Cites Advances In AI (MediaPost)

Facebook today released findings of its Community Standards Enforcement Report showing marked improvements in the prevalence of objectionable content on both Facebook and Instagram and discussed the steps it’s taking to improve them even more. There was a 29% decline in hate speech and violent or graphic content, and a 36% reduction in adult nudity compared to its previous quarter’s report.

8. Medium Employees Unionize (CNN)

Staffers at the online publishing platform Medium announced their intention to unionize on Thursday, following in the footsteps of Gawker, HuffPost, Salon, Slate, Vice, BuzzFeed News, and Vox Media to name a few. Many local newspapers and legacy media organizations such as Hearst Magazines, Wired, and The New Yorker also have joined the movement, as well as the digital arms of NBC News and MTV News.