The Business Insider reported on information from an un-named source about discussions between Google and the New York Times, part of what it calls "Google's plan to save the New York Times." The fact that the two companies are talking has been widely reported recently, and Business Insider points out that NYT chairman Arthur Sulzberger visited Google's California headquarters last month. Google has also been in talks with the Washington Post, it seems.
The source told the publication that a couple of different possibilities for collaboration were being discussed. One is a potential agreement in which "any time Google's search crawlers find a Web site carrying New York Times content and Google ads, Google would split the revenue it gets from those ads with the Times." The other is that "Google would somehow help the New York Times actually embed ads within its text so that when blogs or other Web sites use that text, the ads go with it." Business Insider states that neither it nor the source has any idea how this would be done.
The ideas echo a concept mentioned in Jennifer 8. Lee's Twitter notes from a New York Times staff meeting on Monday. She mentioned that rather than just leaving NYT content on other sites or taking legal action there was also a third option: "forced automated ad revenues." It seems exactly the sort of project that would require considerable collaboration with Google.
News providers have been growing increasingly frustrated by the fact that other sites use their content and even make advertising money from it, especially because falling advertising rates mean that they are suffering from reduced revenue. The Associated Press has launched a project to put in place new mechanisms to track content, targeting those who "scrape content systematically and have no intention of licensing it," according to Jim Kennedy. Also, a group of publishers and a Silicon Valley start-up called Attributor have created the Fair Syndication Consortium, which aims to help publishers receive a cut of advertising revenue when their content is reused. The reported New York Times discussions seems part of a similar effort. Will the news industry manage to effectively crack down on misappropriation, or at least manage to make some money from it?
Source: The Business Insider