back to article Google's gatekeeper to collect toll for dying news orgs

Google is planning to introduce a billing and payment system for news content producers by the end of the year, according to a report in Italian newspaper La Repubblica. From the description, this new caper is some way short of a micropayment system, being more like an Oyster Card for news, and other content such as video and …


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  1. Nick Loman
    Thumb Down


    "And a billion tweets and blogs - which aren't really worth anything"

    I cannot work out if that is an evidence-based statement or just wishful thinking on behalf of the author. What fraction of Google searches end up hitting dead-tree publishers, professional content websites and amateur websites like blogs respectively?

    1. wetshoes

      google news?

      Pretty much all legitimate content. Not the same as google search.

    2. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: Hmm

      @Nick Loman

      "I cannot work out..."

      You can work out the value of the amateur content market by adding the value of the advertising income to subscription revenue.

  2. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

    Tweets aren't news huh?

    What was this then?

    1. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: Tweets aren't news huh?

      What do you think it is?

  3. Smallbrainfield

    I depends on how many people use Google

    to search for news, surely? I tend to just go to half a dozen or so sites for news and I don't need Google to find them. I'm gussing it's the same for a lot of other people as well.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    El Reg and the BBC

    Thats all I ever need.

    Keep it up

  5. Asgard

    "unique web identity" == way to spy on people

    @"The report suggests that the system, called NewsPass, will "incorporate the functions of a universal passkey and of a unique web identity""

    Wonderful, so Google create a "unique web identity" so Google can then track every news article that person reads on multiple news websites. Plus working out the subject matter of each article is becoming increasingly easy to do (especially on tagged news articles). So how long before Google can then workout for example political views to build up a very detailed profile of that person associated with their payment details.

    Plus how long before Google attempt to expand their "unique web identity" to other websites.

    Its another hidden way to make Google central to spying on people again. :(

    So no way in hell will I use this. As far as I'm concerned every attempt to block me reading news, will simply make me go onto other news. For example there was a page I liked on the Times that I looked at maybe once or twice per month and to my disappointment a few days ago I found I could no longer read it. So I simply found at least half a dozen other news sites and blogs and picked the best ones from these and I found a load more info that wasn't even on the Times. So I couldn't be happier because its actually helped me to learn more by blocking me from their biased Murdoch news mono culture! :)

    Plus the Internet routes around damage and so any pay walls acts like damage where people simply go past it. There is so much to read on the Internet as it is, that I don't have time to read it all, so its easier to take the route of least resistance and pay walls are too much trouble. Plus there are many sources of news that were not easy to find 20 years ago that are easy to access directly now. Like countless blogs highlighting company press releases and science papers etc.. so less need for Murdoch news and its not as if any Murdoch news has any remaining journalistic integrity. Everything he touches cannot be trusted to be the whole truth.

    So Google's latest spying plans and Murdoch news network can both go to hell. I'm sick of both of them. :)

    (Escape Icon meaning in this case, escape from Google and Murdoch! :)

  6. Durant Imboden

    Your "straw man" argument

    "If all the commercial content producers were to join Murdoch behind a paywall,..."

    That's a mighty big "if," for two reasons:

    1) In the real world, some content producers would see an opportunity in staying outside the paywall, where they'd have less competition for the larger Web audience after the Murdochs of the world had retreated to their gated community.

    2) Your hypothetical scenario smacks of collusion. Would "all the commercial content producers" seek antitrust immunity from the USA, the EU, and other jurisdictions before joining together in a paywall scheme?

  7. wetshoes

    We need this to pay for journalism

    "News" has 3 phases: research and writing, editing, and publish and distribute. The internet has made the last phase essentially worthless, because it is so cheap and easy to do. Most newspapers consist largely of "bought" stories from AP or UPI, ads, and a bit of locally produced proprietary content. They are mostly "aggregators", which is also pretty worthless. Magazines are mostly proprietary content plus ads. Only the proprietary content has any real value. Google is a perfect basic - cheap, unbiased - aggregator. There is room for some other aggregators that add basic editorial things like selection, placement, and headlining (Huffington Post, e.g.) . On-line aggregators can get paid from on-line ads. But not the journalists. There needs to be a much more reliable way to pay people for good writing, investigative reporting, and titillating smears. Readers need to pay authors. This seems like it provides a path.

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