Home Enterprise Solutions Google denies report on sharing revenue with publishers

Google denies report on sharing revenue with publishers

Google has denied a report that it has developed plans to share a portion of its revenue with publishers.

The denial was made to CNET after it ran a story based on a report in the Financial Times that Google planned to use the personal data it has accumulated and machine learning algorithms to help news publications grow their subscriber base.

But the search behemoth called the report "totally wrong", adding that the subscriptions project was in an early stage and that it had not lined up any agreements with publishers.

Google spokesperson Maggie Shiels said: "We have not reached any conclusions on the revenue side. We haven't reached any conclusions [regarding] subscriptions and need to speak to publishers."

In August, Google's vice-president for news, Richard Gingras, said: "It’s clear from news publishers that they can’t live on advertising alone. But it’s also clear that we’re seeing a shift in a market."

Gingras' statement came as the company said it was working on a way to help sell subscriptions for news sites.

Gingras was quoted in the FT report as saying: "We want to have a healthy ecosystem where we'll benefit both as a society and with our business.

"We are still working it out, we're not experts in the subscription business, but the rev shares will be very, very generous."

He was also quoted as saying: "It will obviously come down to what we think that business relationship should be but, bottom line, I think [revenue shares] will be exceedingly generous [to news publishers].

“In our ad environment, the rev shares are 70 per cent-plus. The rev shares [for publishers] will be significantly more generous than that.”

Both Google and Facebook have come under pressure from publishers for grabbing a big share of online advertising and not giving publishers a cut despite the fact that both companies extensively use published material from news sites to push their advertising.

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Sam Varghese

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A professional journalist with decades of experience, Sam for nine years used DOS and then Windows, which led him to start experimenting with GNU/Linux in 1998. Since then he has written widely about the use of both free and open source software, and the people behind the code. His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.