Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Google makes billions from news, says media group study

Google makes billions from news, says media group study

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
A News Media Alliance-sponsored study claims that Google makes billions from content of news organisations without compensating publishers. ALAIN JOCARD/AFP

Google makes billions from news, says media group study

Google took in some $4.7 billion in revenue last year from “crawling and scraping” news websites without paying publishers, according to an industry-sponsored study released on Monday which was disputed by the tech giant and media analysts.

The study by the News Media Alliance underscores industry arguments about Google and other online giants harming traditional news organisations by dominating the internet news ecosystem and ad revenues generated through it.

According to the study, Google has increasingly monetised news content as it works to keep consumers in its ecosystem, and that news searches helps the internet giant gather data from its users to help tailor its other products.

The report is expected to be presented this week to a congressional hearing on antitrust abuses by Big Tech firms and to support legislation that would allow news organisations exemptions from antitrust to negotiate digital revenues.

Google disputed the findings of the study, as did some media analysts.

“These back of the envelope calculations are inaccurate as a number of experts are pointing out,” a Google spokesperson said.

“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 also voiced scepticism about the methods and conclusions of the study by the media group previously known as the Newspaper Association of America.

Jeff Jarvis, a City University of New York journalism professor, called the study flawed, in part because it relies on “snippets” in search results.

“Snippets in search are NOT content,” Jarvis said on Twitter. “They are links TO the publishers. Google does not monetise Google News. When it makes money on news it’s by serving ads ON publishers’ sites.”

Temple University professor Aron Pilhofer said the study fails to consider how Google drives users to news websites where publishers can generate revenue.

“Even if you accept the methodology (which I do not), I think it’s fair to also account for all the traffic Google is pushing to publisher sites, wouldn’t it? This is just silly,” Pilhofer tweeted.

The study comes months after the EU adopted a hotly contested copyright law that could require Google and other online giants to pay publishers for news content in search results.

Many media companies and artists backed the EU move aimed at getting revenue from web platforms. But the law was strongly opposed by internet freedom activists and by Silicon Valley on concerns it could chill the sharing of information.

MOST VIEWED

  • PM: All 10 Asean countries to receive Rainsy arrest warrants

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said on Thursday that all 10 Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) member states will receive warrants for the arrest of Sam Rainsy. The warrants have already been sent to Laos and Thailand. He was speaking at a joint press conference at

  • Human rights report biased, says Cambodia

    Cambodia has accused the 42nd session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland on Wednesday of having “undermined the principle of objectivity”. In a statement issued on Tuesday, the Permanent Mission of the Kingdom of Cambodia to the UN said the Office of the

  • Kingdom okays 2,400MW power purchase from Laos

    A cabinet meeting on Wednesday decided that the government will purchase 2,400MW of electricity from Laos. A briefing document uploaded by government spokesman Phay Siphan to his Facebook page confirmed this. It said Cambodia will buy exclusive power from two coal-fired power plants in Laos –

  • CNRP activists arrested for ‘plotting insecurity’

    Three activists for the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) have been sent to Phnom Penh Municipal Court after they were arrested for their alleged involvement in an overseas-organised plot to mobilise demonstrations and cause insecurity. National Police spokesman Chhay Kim Khoeun said the