Google Must Pay for News Content, Says Indian Newspaper Society
The Indian Newspaper Society (INS) has asked Google to compensate Indian newspapers for using their work, according to a letter that INS President L. Adimoolam wrote to Google India’s country manager, Sanjay Gupta.
The INS is an organization primarily focused on protecting the business interests of Indian print dailies. These daily newspapers suffered an enormous setback due to the Covid19 pandemic and a breakdown of traditional modes of advertising, as more and more people choose digital news over print-first news. Newspapers have been forced to lay off hundreds of journalists in recent months.
This particular demand follows hotly behind recent agreements between Google and countries like France and Australia, in which the tech company has agreed to pay better rates for hosting news, after a particularly terse set of negotiations with the latter country.
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According to a statement from the INS, “The Society insisted that Google should increase the publisher share of advertising revenue to 85%, and also ensure more transparency in the revenue reports provided to publishers by Google.” As of now, publishers, regardless of geographic location, receive around 68% of revenue for displaying ads with Google AdSense within content and 51% for displaying ads via Google Search. However, a June 2020 blog post by Google, in which the company alleges publishers get to keep 95% of the digital advertising revenue they generate, has left publishers confused. The INS has thus requested Google increase transparency in revenue reports sent to publishers.
The INS also put forth another reason necessary for Google to invest more in print publishers: the difference between the careful journalism of print media versus false news promulgated primarily by online platforms. “Indian print media is the most credible source of news and information in the country and newspapers play a vital role in nation-building,” the INS states. “We invest heavily in journalism, the core of our news operations, because newspapers play a vital role in society.”