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Google reportedly earned as much as  $4.7 billion in 2018 from news contents comprising of the works of news publishers accessed by readers via search and Google News.

The Details: According to a report, news contents make up about 40% of clicks for trending queries on Google Search  and about 16% of clicks on most searched results. This amounted to an estimated $4.7 billion in revenues for the search engine company last year.

The report also disclosed that Google and Facebook control the distribution of news because 80% of external traffic is routed through these two companies to various news websites.

Journalists demanding for a cut: According to the president and chief executive of the NMA David Chavern, journalists who create the content deserve their own share of the $4.7 billion. This is because news is a significant part of Google’s business.

According to Chavern;

“They make money off this arrangement and there needs to be a better outcome for news publishers, Information wants to be free, but reporters need to get paid.”

Terrance C Z Egger, the CEO of the Philadelphia Media Network, also aired his displeasure saying;

“There’s the potential for a beautiful co-dependence. If you look at the reason they have such high engagement on their platforms, increasingly news is the No. 1 driver. Given that, they wouldn’t want to see news go away. And yet the unintended consequence is we need to share the revenue or get paid for the content that we produce.”

Meanwhile, Google has condemned the report, stressing  that the research failed to acknowledge the value that Google’s news content provides.

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“Every month, Google News and Google Search drive over 10 billion clicks to publishers’ websites, which drive subscriptions and significant ad revenue. We’ve worked very hard to be a collaborative and supportive technology and advertising partner to news publishers worldwide.” 

Whatever the case may be, the report shows how much news media rely on tech companies for distribution as well as how much the tech companies depend on news publishers because they do not produce their news themselves. Therefore, the situation is vice versa.


However the big question remains whether Google and other tech companies are unfairly monetizing other people’s work.


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