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Google Finds Another Revenue Source

Google News logoGoogle could make good with publishers with its plan for an e-commerce system to charge users to access online news content from publishers. Google’s plans could include both a monthly subscription fee to access multiple news sites; as well as a micropayment system in which readers could purchase single stories and individual articles. Google would then take a small percentage of the revenues from subscription fees and from pay-per news (you heard it here first!) sales.

Google Checkout logoPaying for this service still exposes you to advertisements, however. Advertising will still remain the main source of revenue, but this paid model would serve as additional revenue. So possibly the next time you search for news stories and topics on Google News, you may find a teaser article leading you to Google Checkout.

It would be interesting to see how this model unfolds. If you had the chance to hear any broadcaster or columnist speak on the subject of the state of  print media, I guarantee you can feel the dolour in their voices. Many in the business concur that the print publishing industry is down on its knees and require some form of reinvention to stay alive.

Clearly, the proliferation of digital technology has brought about many changes and affected how people deal with information. Limiting users’ access to these stories may also limit users’ visits to authentic news sites. Those unwilling to pay for news content will find alternative sources of free content to consume; or worse, they might just neglect the stories altogether.

I’m not suggesting that this model won’t work–it needs to work! But it will be interesting to see how our daily online news search will be altered once this sytem is implemented. It will entail tweaking and tinkering from both sides to find middle grounds. And if this revenue model work, will we find MSN, Yahoo! and other online aggregator of news content following suit?

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September 14, 2009 • #, #, #, #, #, #

1 Comment

  1. Henry E.

    September 18, 2009

    I'm sure readers will still find free sources of news. And if the subscription-based model diminishes readers' access, wouldn't that reduce audience size for advertisers? I suppose they may consider a hybrid of free (trivial) news and "pay-per (quality) news stories. And with enough micropayments to google checkout, readers will start subscribing to monthly subscriptions.

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