Google stands firm in its stance on not sharing its revenues with publishers in order to attract potential new subscribers, following a wave of reports that stated otherwise.
According to a report by the Financial Times, several media organizations were approached by Google with an offer of subscriptions in exchange for sharing the revenues. However, Google has completely denied these statements, saying that the subscriptions project is still in its early stages, and it has made no such deals with the publishers.
In response to these reports Google spokeswoman Maggie Shiels told CNET that:
“We have not reached any conclusions on the revenue side. We haven’t reached any conclusions [regarding] subscriptions and need to speak to publishers.”
According to current trends, readers prefer to go online to get their news. This wave has affected newspapers big time, as they see a decreasing number of subscribers and lower advertising revenue. Newspaper publishers and the Associated Press have blamed Google for their increasing woes.
In his statement to the Financial Times, Vice President of Google News Richard Gingras said that any such split in the revenue would be beneficial to the publishers, as opposed to the current trend, where 70 percent of the revenue is handed over to the websites.
“We want to have a healthy ecosystem where we’ll benefit both as a society and with our business,” Gingras told the Financial Times. “We are still working it out; we’re not experts in the subscription business, but the rev shares will be very, very generous.”
He also said that “unlike other participants in the environment, we’re not trying to own the publisher . . . we don’t want to own the customer.”
If this stands true, then it would be good news for the publishers. Although, a recent outcry about the spread of “fake news” could be the reason why Google, as well as Facebook, has been encouraged to provide more support to trusted publishers.