Google CEO on Paid Content The Reality is the Vast Majority of

first_imgEric Schmidt, Google’s CEO, keynoted the Newspaper Association ofAmerica event in San Diego this week, just as newspaper executives weredragging out and dusting off the old aggregator backlash, whining about “stolen” content.But Schmidt, during a Q+A session after his address,made some insightful remarks about online audience behavior with paidcontent, search and news. His address was obviously targeted at newspapers and news-orientedcontent, but his takeaways can easily be applied to any online contentpublisher. We’re all struggling with online business models and howvisitors want to consume content.Some key excerpts via Poynter, which has the full Q&A session transcript. On online content models: “I think from yourperspective you should assume that there’s a category of informationyou all produce that you’ll want to distribute freely. There’s acategory you’ll want to have on a per click basis. And there’s somethat you’ll want subscription for. The reality in this model is thevast majority of people will only want the free model, so you’ll beforced, whether we like it or not, to have a significant advertisingcomponent as well as a micropayment and a traditional payment system.”On how newspapers were good at repurposing content, but missed the engagement boat:”Theact after [repurposing content online] is a much harder question. It’show do you keep engagement? How do you avoid being just mediated with aset of stories that are aggregated with your brand on them, which iswhat’s happened to some newspapers? So in the case you were describing, if I were involved in thedigital part of a newspaper, trying to understand what to do, I wouldfirst and foremost try to understand what my reader wants.”On intellectual property rights:”I disagree with yourpremise that they will continue to erode. What I do believe is that allthese partially-thought-through legal systems are being challenged bythe ubiquity of the Internet. Just as free speech is being affected bythe fact that people are free to speak whatever they think even if wereally don’t want to hear them. It’s the same problem.”On online measurement:”We look at clicks and we alsolook at how long people stay on a page. And we can then infer interest.Your question is so good because it shows you how early we are in theindustry. We don’t have combined, accurate, audited ways of measuringaudiences, counting advertisers, all of which has to be developed as atechnology behind the businesses that all of us are going to build. It took many, many years for the same business structures to bedesigned for the audit circulation bureaus for magazines. The samething is going to occur and it will occur because it needs to. For ourpurposes, we use our internal information which is accurate, but as Iagree, there is not a uniform standard.”last_img

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