Vox Media, The Atlantic Ink Licensing Partnerships With OpenAI

Vox Media and The Atlantic have both inked separate licensing and product development deals with OpenAI, as news publisher dealmaking with AI firms heats up.

Both multiyear deals include licensing agreements, allowing OpenAI access to both publishers’ content archives to train the company’s chatbots. The agreements also permit the AI firm to use the outlets’ current content in response to ChatGPT queries, which will include citations to the relevant article.

The terms of each deal were not disclosed, however, a majority of the partnerships between OpenAI and news publishers have resulted in a compensation package for content.

Both companies will also be collaborating with OpenAI on product development.

The Atlantic’s partnership allows for access to OpenAI tech, with a channel for feedback to shape the user experience. The deal also grants OpenAI access to the development of The Atlantic’s experimental microsite Atlantic Labs, which intends to implement AI functions to better serve readers.

“We believe that people searching with AI models will be one of the fundamental ways that people navigate the web in the future,” The Atlantic’s CEO Nicholas Thompson said in a statement. “We’re delighted to partner with OpenAI, to make The Atlantic’s reporting and stories more discoverable to their millions of users, and to have a voice in shaping how news is surfaced on their platforms.”

Vox Media — whose portfolio includes Vox, The Verge, Eater, New York Magazine, The Cut, Vulture, and SB Nation — will also work with OpenAI to develop products for the company’s media consumers.

OpenAI tech will be used to support discovery functions across Vox Media products and enhance its affiliate commerce product, The Strategist Gift Scout. Additionally, Vox Media will be using OpenAI tech and guidance to grow its first-party data platform, Forte, which launched in 2019.

“This agreement aligns with our goals of leveraging generative AI to innovate for our audiences and customers, protect and grow the value of our work and intellectual property, and boost productivity and discoverability to elevate the talent and creativity of our exceptional journalists and creators,” Jim Bankoff, co-founder, chair and CEO of Vox Media, said in a statement.

Brad Lightcap, COO of OpenAI added, “We’re excited to partner with Vox Media to give our audiences the best experiences at the intersection of AI and media. Working together, we can drive forward with innovation while amplifying the work of journalists.”

This comes as the dealmaking pace between news publishers and AI firms has picked up, with News Corp inking a deal with OpenAI just last week. The company joined the likes of The AP, DotDash Meredith, Axel Springer, and more in licensing content to the tech company.

On the other side, The New York Times launched a blockbuster lawsuit against both Microsoft and OpenAI in December, accusing the tech giants of copyright infringement. The case will likely set a precedent for how future AI cases involving media and copyright infringement are litigated.

Many other media organizations have followed suit, launching their own lawsuits against the AI tech giants, including eight Alden Global Capital-owned newsrooms and digital outlets Raw Story, Alternet, and The Intercept.

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