Google developing payment platform for newspapers: Nieman

September 9, 2009
A visitor checks out Google's Book Search site at the Google stand of the Frankfurt Book Fair in 2008. Internet giant Google is developing a payment platform for newspapers that would allow them to charge for content online, according to a report on Wednesday.

Internet giant Google is developing a payment platform for newspapers that would allow them to charge for content online, according to a report on Wednesday.

Harvard University's Nieman Journalism Lab said that Google had submitted a payment platform proposal to the Newspaper Association of America in response to a request made by the NAA to several major technology companies.

Nieman published the Google proposal on its website,, and described Google's initiative as somewhat "surprising" given "the newspaper industry's tenuous relationship with Google."

Google's popular website has drawn fire from some US newspaper publishers for linking to their articles without payment.

Google has dismissed the criticism and countered that it is providing newspapers a free service by driving traffic to their websites.

With print advertising revenue and circulation declining, US newspaper publishers have been looking at ways to begin charging for on the Internet and the NAA has been involved in the effort.

The Google document obtained by Nieman said the payment platform under development by the Internet giant, an extension of Google Checkout, would be "available to both Google and non-Google properties within the next year."

"Google believes that an open Web benefits all users and publishers," the document said. "However, 'open' need not mean free.

"We believe that content on the Internet can thrive supported by multiple -- including content available only via subscription.

"While we believe that will likely remain the main source of revenue for most news content, a paid model can serve as an important source of additional revenue," Google said.

"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."

Google also suggested it would share revenue with newspapers like Apple does with music companies on its online music store iTunes.

is not the only company seeking to develop a payment platform for newspapers.

Journalism Online, a company launched in April which seeks to help news organizations make money on the Web, announced last month that more than 500 newspapers and magazines have agreed to join the venture as affiliates.

It said a payment platform would go online in the fall which would allow subscribers to access paid content at the websites of the affiliates using a universal Journalism Online account.

The Los Angeles Times also reported last month that Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. has held talks with The New York Times Co., Washington Post Co., Hearst Corp. and Tribune Co., publisher of the Chicago Tribune and Los Angeles Times, on forming a consortium that would charge for online.

(c) 2009 AFP

Explore further: News Corp. seeking to form online news consortium: LAT

Related Stories

Antitrust watchdog probes Google Italy

August 27, 2009

(AP) -- Italy's antitrust watchdog is investigating allegations that Google Italy is discriminating against newspapers that don't want their content linked on Google's news site by dropping them from its search engine.

US newspaper owners are 'mad as hell'

April 8, 2009

US newspaper owners, their advertising revenue evaporating, their circulation declining and their readership going online to get news for free, are fighting mad.

Google to expand TV ad service to online video

March 27, 2009

Internet giant Google is testing a new service that would expand its television-ad brokering business to YouTube and video on other websites, The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.

Recommended for you

Swiss unveil stratospheric solar plane

December 7, 2016

Just months after two Swiss pilots completed a historic round-the-world trip in a Sun-powered plane, another Swiss adventurer on Wednesday unveiled a solar plane aimed at reaching the stratosphere.

Solar panels repay their energy 'debt': study

December 6, 2016

The climate-friendly electricity generated by solar panels in the past 40 years has all but cancelled out the polluting energy used to produce them, a study said Tuesday.


Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

2 / 5 (1) Sep 09, 2009
this is the end of google. everything they stood for was 'free' now that they're embrasing this new "not for free' platoform it will corrupt them.
4 / 5 (1) Sep 09, 2009
Naw, plenty of free sources will remain. This is the end instead of most newspapers. People won't pay for their service and they will lose advertiser revenue.
1 / 5 (1) Sep 10, 2009
When I Google-search many times URL's display that require pay-per-view. I do not use that function on my Television and I will not use that on the internet. If I am riding the MAXline in Portland, OR and someone leave a USA Today newspaper on the seat, do I have to pay to look? Why is it any different on the internet? When my brother or I buy a book at Barnes and Noble and we finish reading it then we may give it to each other. Do I have to pay again? Why is it any different on the web? When I buy a CD and listen to it, I may give or loan it to someone they have to pay the purchase price to listen? Of course not.
Because of stupid court decisions which fly in the face of common sense and ignore centuries of common practice we have to suffer the greed folks.
MESSAGE TO Internet Corporate-types who are considering Pay-per-View...
If you are going to charge for a PDF of an article then let us walk away with the article or MP3 song like a magazine or CD.
5 / 5 (1) Sep 10, 2009
Google is clearly trying to capture the NewsPaper advertising market, while at the same time maintaining good relations with the big news providers by selling their news products and maintaining the Brand News names ...

Will be interesting to see Brand News competing directly with the entrepreneur Bloggers on the same platform, and see if Google rewards the more intersting news providers with larger advertising rates/splits/commissions and (therefore) revenues.

This could be the way to split Quality and Popular news without losing either ...

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.