Google garnered $4.7 Billion from News and Search alone in 2018
Google’s News and Search features brought in $4.7 billion in revenue almost equalling the $5.1 billion brought in by the entire news industry’s digital advertising in the US.
Open Browser → Google → type the keywords → click → read the news.
Well, in 2018 these steps earned Google $4,700,000,000 in the United States. That’s $4.7billion!
According to a report in The New York Times, the entire news industry in the United States, when compared to Google, made an estimated $5.1 billion from digital advertising. The study done by News Media Alliance represents over 2,000 newspapers across the States.
How did Google as a single entity manage to earn $4.7 billion? Given that Google is the world's largest search engine that controls over 75 per cent of the market share, it earned this sum from the work of news publishers through search and Google News alone.
Addressing the plight of news publishers, David Chavern, the president and chief executive of the alliance said that the journalists who created that content deserve a piece of the $4.7 billion. He told the NYT, “They make money off this arrangement and there needs to be a better outcome for news publishers.”
The report said, “The News Media Alliance cautioned that its estimate for Google’s income was conservative.” But why? This study did not count the amount of personal data and the value collected -- by Google and its parent company Alphabet -- every time a user clicked on an article.
Nearly 40 percent of the clicks on Google’s trending queries platform are for news. This shows that news -- not produced by Google -- is a significant part of the tech giant’s revenue and business. The report said, “That’s content that Google does not pay for, the report said, although it often presents headlines from news outlets verbatim.”
Tech-giants like Google and Facebook don the role of mere middlemen. The shift in readership from newspapers to online platforms gives these middlemen an inordinate amount of power. Infact, Google went from earning $100 million in 2008 to $4.7 billion in 2018. In just ten years, Google has seen a 470 per cent increase in revenue from the same system. Meanwhile, from 2008 to 2017, newsroom employment in the U.S. dropped by 23 per cent.
So how can online news publishers fight this? Chavern hoped that this study would throw light on the country’s Journalism Competition and Preservation Act. The bill would give news publishers a four-year antitrust exemption that allows them to bargain with online platforms to split the generated revenue. For now, the bill has bipartisan support in the Senate and the House.