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Micropayments May Come to Google News

Google is working on a new micropayment platform for online news content derived from newspaper publishers. The idea isn't anything new: many news-oriented websites are currently offering paid subscriptions, including those that can be found in print. Google's new program, set to launch within a year, would generate revenue for local and national publishers and simplify the way they would charge for online content.

According to this 8-page document (PDF), Google has submitted the proposed payment platform to the Newspaper Association of America; the submittal is a response to the NAA's request to technology companies for some kind of revenue plan. Ultimately, the plan could be a sign that Google wants to mend its troubled relationship with the newspaper industry. In the past, Google has come under attack by newspapers for linking to their articles without payment. Google countered the complaints saying that Google News drives traffic to their websites.

But hopefully that's now all in the past. "Google believes that an open web benefits all users and publishers," the document reads. "However, 'open' need not mean free. We believe that content on the Internet can thrive supported by multiple business models--including content available only via subscription. While we believe that advertising will likely remain the main source of revenue for most news content, a paid model can serve as an important source of additional revenue. In addition, a successful paid content model can enhance advertising opportunities, rather than replace them."

Google's idea is based on a checkout system, and the company said that its Google Checkout platform can handle subscription payments for news sites although, in its current state, Google said that the process for merchants is "fairly rudimentary." The Nieman Journalism Lab, which published Google's proposal online, provides an in-depth examination of the proposal--and how it will benefit publishers--right here.

  • burnley14
    I will never pay for news again. The beauty of the internet is free information. If this program is initiated, I'll just avoid it altogether.
  • Major7up
    That is a little naive. It is that kind of attitude that propagates mis-information as well. I would happily pay for news knowing that facts were checked and research was done, in essence good reporting. I would also pay for Tom's to get ad-free access to the site and I believe very much in supporting services and publications that I trust and enjoy. I pay for a Wired magazine subscription also but normally bypass it and read it online.
  • doc70
    I will just go to free websites, check Information Clearing House for that matter... I get enough Big Brother on my TV if I want it ( and I have to pay for it, too), for real news I go online. Besides, if I really like the news site I can always donate money to them, is my way of supporting what I believe is good news and pretty much all the sites have a donation link. And yes, for the online/computer community, open pretty much means free, and the blokes at Google of course they know that...
    I believe someone at Google might need a 10th Ferrari.../joke
  • Jung
  • r0x0r
    The only time I would pay for anything related to news is paying to see the nightly news (and current affairs programs) go off the air.

    I don't watch the news 'cos I would rather be uninformed than mis-informed.
  • Atticah
    Google = George Bush
  • johnny_5
    Google news does drive traffic to their websites, so they should quit complaining.
  • Andraxxus
    Perhapse they will ask for money even when you go to they're homepage or when you do your search.
  • Yeah, it had nothing to do with propaganda and outright lies, no sir, the mean old internet killed the American press. They trumpeted every lie the Bush administration ever told, and ridiculed the bloggers who were right all along. Let them all go out of business, Faux Newz first...
  • tstebbens
    There is only one news you ever need to know: the good news about Jesus! Hallelujah!