Monday, September 3, 2007

Who Needs a Printing Press? Update

Google to Feature News Agencies’ Articles

Google is playing host to news articles from four news agencies including The Associated Press, the company said today, setting the stage for it to generate advertising revenue from Google News, Britain’s Press Association, Canadian Press and Agence France-Presse — now have their articles featured with the organizations’ own brands on Google News-hosted landing pages. The companies have agreed to license news feeds to Google.

Previously, the five-year-old Google News service has crawled the Web to uncover links to news articles from thousands of stories and clustered links on similar subjects together, without hosting the articles themselves.

Josh Cohen, business product manager of Google News, said his company would consider eventually running advertising alongside the articles it is licensing from news agencies.

“I think it is fair to say we are always looking at ways to help publishers distribute, promote and monetize their content,” Mr. Cohen said. “There is no doubt that this deal gives us more flexibility for the product in a number of ways.”

And John C. Dvorak makes a related point in Don't Give Up on Old Media
, using comparisons between TV and radio and TV and the movie industry.

Update: From Dan Gillmor at the Center for Citizen Media.

The most interesting part of this deal is that the Associated Press is one of Google’s news providers. Yet the AP is owned by the news organizations.

For some time now, it’s been clear that the interests of AP and its members have been diverging. This is the clearest evidence yet.

Kevin Burton weighs in on what newspaper publishers might do in response.

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