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OpenAI Inks Licensing Agreements with Vox Media, The Atlantic for ChatGPT

OpenAI announced pacts with two other media companies — Vox Media and The Atlantic — to license their content to the ChatGPT artificial intelligence chatbot. Under the agreements, the companies will also work with OpenAI on a number of product development initiatives.

In recent months, OpenAI has struck similar deals with companies including News Corp, Dotdash Meredith, the Financial Times and Reddit. In the other camp are the New York Times and other newspapers, which have sued OpenAI as well as Microsoft, alleging that the tech companies engaged in copyright infringement by using the publishers' content to train their AI systems. .

The financial terms of OpenAI's deals with Vox Media and The Atlantic were not disclosed.

Vox Media, whose properties include Vox, The Verge, Eater, New York Magazine, The Cut, Vulture and SB Nation, will license content to OpenAI that will “help inform ChatGPT's 100 million users, receiving attribution brand and audience referrals,” according to the company. As part of the deal, Vox Media will work with OpenAI to build “internal audience-facing applications and capabilities.” Among other uses, Vox Media will use OpenAI tools to improve its affiliate marketing product, The Strategist Gift Scout, and plans to use OpenAI technology to power its Forte first-party data platform. (Disclosure: Penske Media Corp., publisher of Varietybecame Vox Media's largest single shareholder last year after PMC bought a minority stake in the company reported to be 20%.)

According to The Atlantic's agreement with OpenAI, the publisher's articles will be discoverable in OpenAI's products, including ChatGPT, and The Atlantic will “help shape how news is displayed and presented in future timely discovery products real,” he said. Additionally, The Atlantic's product team will have “privileged access to OpenAI technology, provide feedback and share use cases to shape and improve future news experiences in ChatGPT and other OpenAI products” , the company said. The Atlantic is currently developing an experimental microsite, called Atlantic Labs, to understand how AI can help develop new products and features to “better serve journalism and its readers.”

Jim Bankoff, co-founder, chairman and CEO of Vox Media, said in a statement, “We are excited to partner with OpenAI. This agreement aligns with our goals to leverage generative AI to innovate for our audiences and customers, to protect and enhance the value of our work and intellectual property, and to increase productivity and discoverability to elevate the talent and creativity of our journalists and creators extraordinary.

Atlantic CEO Nicholas Thompson commented: “We believe that people searching with AI models will be one of the fundamental ways people navigate the internet in the future. 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 presented on their platforms.”

Meanwhile, OpenAI was recently at the center of a controversy involving actress Scarlett Johansson. Last week, Johansson said she turned down the company's request that she reprise her role in Her and voice ChatGPT — and was “shocked” and “angry” that the company went ahead and used a voice which sounded very similar to hers anyway. Johansson, in a statement given to Varietysaid her lawyers contacted OpenAI to remove the voice of Sky, one of the new voices in the GPT-4o chatbot that sounded like her.

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