Google has made some $4.7 billion revenue in 2018 from the work of news publishers via Search and Google News, reveals a study by the News Media Alliance.
The study supports industry arguments that Google and other online giants are damaging the traditional news, organizations by dominating the internet news ecosystem and ad revenues gained through it.
The study maintains that Google has increasingly monetized news content to retain consumers in its ecosystem. It states that the news searches also help the internet giant in collecting data from its users to help tailor its other products.
The report will be presented to a congressional hearing on antitrust abuses by big tech firms and to support legislation allowing news organizations exemptions from antitrust laws to negotiate digital revenues.
David Chavern, the president and chief executive of the Alliance, said that the journalists who generate the content should get a portion of the huge earnings made by Google. The alliance represents over 2000 newspapers in the US.
Google rejected the findings of the study while some media analysts also disputed the study. A spokesperson from the search engine giant said,
These back of the envelope calculations are inaccurate as a number of experts are pointing out. The overwhelming number of news queries do not show ads. The study ignores the value Google provides. Every month Google News and Google Search drive over 10 billion clicks to publishers’ websites, which drive subscriptions and significant ad revenue.
Other analysts have also doubted the methods and the conclusions of the study by the alliance. According to Jeff Jarvis, a City University of New York journalism professor termed the study flawed, saying that it relies on ‘snippets’ in the search results.
“Snippets in search are NOT content, they are links TO the publishers. Google does not monetize Google News. When it makes money on news it’s by serving ads ON publishers’ sites,” he stated on Twitter.