Google has submitted a plan a to the NAA (Newspaper Association of America) in response to a request to help monetize local newspaper’s online content.
The document outlines how Google has the technology, infrastructure, and experience to help publishers monetize their content.
Along with Google’s infrastructure, Google also would utilize Google Checkout – their payment processing system – to make payments for the content fast and easy.
In the document, Google said:
“While we believe that advertising will likely remain the main source of revenue for most news content, a paid model can serve as an important source of additional revenue.”
The documents continues:
“Google has experience not only with our e-commerce products; we have successfully built consumer products used by millions around the world,” it said. “We can use this expertise to help create a successful e-commerce platform for publishers.”
Here are the key features of Google’s proposed payment plan include:
- Single sign-on capability for users to access content and manage subscriptions
- Ability for publishers to combine subscriptions from different titles together for one price
- Ability for publishers to create multiple payment options and easily include/exclude
- content behind a paywall
- Multiple tiers of access to search including 1) snippets only with “subscription” label, 2)
- access to preview pages and 3) “first click free” access
- Advertising systems that offer highly relevant ads for users, such as interest-based
The fact that local news papers are trying to get people to pay for content sets up a perfect storm for Google. Google’s going to get paid whether the system works or not – both through online ad exposure, and also through the use of the Google Checkout system.
I don’t think online publishers are going to find a lot of people paying for their content. Sure, there will be a few, but probably not enough to sustain and lift up their failing publishing business.
The web is about freely sharing content and information. Look at Twitter for example. News and going to reach an audience faster there then anywhere else, and people are going to get it 100% free!
It’s going to be interesting to watch how publishers fair with charging for content.