|July 22, 2010|
|Google Wants Some Love from Newspapers|
|By Kevin McCauley|
|Google wants a little love from Rupert Murdoch and other media critics who blast the search company for "stealing" their content. |
The 12-year-old company claims that it’s focused like a laser on fostering "revenue generation models that will sustain the continued vitality of the news industry," according to its 20-page comment to the Federal Trade Commission.
Google uses Yoga Berra's famous line, "It's like déjà vu all over again," to address the great newspaper die-off due to the Internet issue. Noting that 1890-1920 was the "golden age" of newspapers, Google says publishers predicted gloom and doom with the advent of radio and then TV. The Internet is just the latest bogeyman.
Google talks about the demand for "disaggregated news," which is migration of information consumption from a full newspaper to a single article. The same trend rocked the music business as digital music has consumers thinking about "purchases as individual songs rather than full albums."
Google says the average newspaper reader spends 25 minutes a day with the paper, but the typical online reader spends just 70 seconds on even the best news sites. Google worked on the experimental "Living Stories" format with the New York Times and Washington Post that bolstered the average user visit to nine minutes. It is offers the Living Stories code to any publisher that is interested.
Google says its sends 100K visitors to news publishers every minute of the day. Each visit is an opportunity to "show user ads, register users and charge users for access to content." It’s up to publishers to decide how to "interact with users who visit them through Google."
The company says Google News is not designed to encourage users to linger, rather it it designed to deliver readers to publishers as quickly as possible.
Publishers "can and do charge for content while ensuring that it is discoverable through Google." To Rupert, Google says the "future lies in embracing consumer preferences and collaborating with Internet companies."
Murdoch's great paywall experiment at the London Times is off to a shaky start.
>The Guardian reported July 20 that the Times lost 90 percent of its readership since the wall went up less than three weeks ago.
But as Guardian blogger Peter Robbins points out, it took the Wall Street Journal, a Times sibling, a decade to build its online paid readership.
The Times just needs time.
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