As per a study released a few days ago, Google made $4.7bn in advertising from news websites, which is almost equal to the entire revenue the full online news industry realized last year.
The report by News Media Alliance also revealed that between 16 and 40 percent of Google search results were news content.
Reports from The Guardian stated that Google’s profit from distributing news content is $400m less than the $5.1 billion which the entire US news industry realized from digital advertising in 2018.
The body in charge of online advertising agency disclosed that the released figures could be conservative, as the report does not add the user’s personal data collected anytime users tap on a story.
Experts in the country have also disregarded the report, saying it is not substantial enough.
A Professor at Columbia University’s journalism school, Bill Grueskin, said the figures by the News Alliance was only a work aimed at guessing Google’s profit from the news business.
His exact words to The Guardian were, “The researchers appear to take a random, 2008 comment made at a conference, about Google News’ value, and extrapolate that to come up with a number that’s supposed to represent how much revenue that Google has made off the news business.”
“I don’t doubt that big tech companies deserve scrutiny for their oversized role in the advertising business,”
“But a trade group that represents the news business ought to have standards that match those of the reporters and editors they’re trying to support.”
Google also blasted the study, revealing that it is “inaccurate” and did not include the value Google offers.
A spokesperson had this to say, “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.”
David Chavern, the News Media Alliance’s president shared his own opinion in a recent statement, “News publishers need to continue to invest in quality journalism, and they can’t do that if the platforms take what they want without paying for it.”
“Information wants to be free, but reporters need to get paid.”
The alliance said that the fresh study, before anything else, showed the public’s craving for news.
David continued, “News content certainly drives a lot of user behavior,”
“If anything, the value to Google we’ve put on it is conservative, and I’m sure if you were at Google looking out, the number would strike you as conservative.”
He noted that Google and Facebook could be amazing partners to the news business if they want it.
He referred to both giants online platforms as “wonderful distribution systems” that are yet to fulfill their side of the content creation–content distribution deal.
“They just need to work with us to build a sustainable digital future for news and they haven’t been willing to do that yet,” his words.
“They say a lot of nice things but steadfastly refuse to pay for or improve the economic deal for news.”