Dotdash Meredith Inks Licensing Partnership With OpenAI

The People and Entertainment Weekly publisher chooses paid partnership over litigation to compensate for training ChatGPT

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella (R) greets OpenAI CEO Sam Altman during the OpenAI DevDay event on Nov. 6, 2023, in San Francisco. (Getty Images)

Dotdash Meredith, one of the largest digital publishers in the U.S., has signed a deal with OpenAI to license content for AI training, a diversion from the litigation tactics of other large publishers such as the New York Times.

The company will also work with OpenAI to develop new AI products and provide real-time information to ChatGPT. As part of the agreement, OpenAI will use DotDash Meredith content and links to articles in Chatbot responses to users. 

“We have not been shy about the fact that AI platforms should pay publishers for their content and that content must be appropriately attributed,” CEO of Dotdash Meredith Neil Vogel said in a statement Tuesday. “This deal is a testament to the great work OpenAI is doing on both fronts to partner with creators and publishers and ensure a healthy Internet for the future.”

“Over 200 million Americans each month trust our content to help them make decisions, solve problems, find inspiration, and live fuller lives. This partnership delivers the best, most relevant content right to the heart of ChatGPT,” Vogel continued. 

The CEO of OpenAI Brad Nightcap said in a statement, “We’re thrilled to partner with Dotdash Meredith to bring its trusted brands to ChatGPT and to explore new approaches in advancing the publishing and marketing industries.”

Part of the deal is also an effort to improve Dotdash Meredith’s AI-driven ad-targeting tool, D/Cipher. 

The product connects advertisers to consumers based on personal identifiers like tracking cookies. OpenAI technology will be used to “supercharge” D/Cipher’s capabilities. 

“D/Cipher is built upon billions of first-party data signals from across our incredible brands – we understand consumer intent based on context, not personal identifiers,” Dotdash Meredith’s chief innovation officer Dr. Jon Roberts said in a statement. “We can tap the power of OpenAI’s models to make D/Cipher ad targeting more granular, more nuanced, and more effective in engaging consumers. This combination will be a game changer for advertisers.”

Publishers have come to a crossroads with AI training, having to choose either litigation or direct licensing. The New York Times filed an ambitious lawsuit in December against Microsoft and OpenAI, accusing the tech giants of copyright infringement.

Last week, eight newspapers owned by Alden Global Capital filed a lawsuit Tuesday against OpenAI and Microsoft, accusing the companies of copyright violations by using articles to train AI.

News Corp., which was initially hesitant to partner with AI companies, has changed its tune regarding AI’s role in the industry, with CEO Robert Thomson saying in February that the company intends to be a “core content provider for generative AI companies who need the highest quality timely content to ensure the relevance of their products.”


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