Google CEO says paper ads and technology can work together
Eric Schmidt, CEO of search megalith Google, has told newspaper bosses they should continue to rely on advertising but need to embraced new technology to support more profitable business models.
Schmidt believes that the newspaper business and other publishers will end up using a combination of “all three” – advertising, micropayments and regular subscriptions – to support its content online, much the way cable TV already operates.
But despite some hope to the contrary, especially as ad support has dropped, Schmidt says people will still get most of their online news free.
“It’s very difficult to hold information back,” Schmidt explained to 200 attendees at the Newspaper Association of America Convention.
His comments come amid growing agitation over the way the web allows others to collate or riff on the headlines produced by newspapers and other traditional media at great expense.
This is only a few days after News Corp CEO Rupert Murdoch said that newspapers must begin charging for content in order to survive.
Dean Singleton, AP chairman, has also asserted that Associated Press would actively pursue legal and legislative actions against sites found breaching copyrights, such as news aggregator websites, blogs and search companies like the Huffington Post and, surprisingly, Google.
Although Google and AP signed a distribution agreement in 2007, the search engine giant has recently come under fire in the media for hauling in profits from its ad-funded search results, which link to newspaper websites.
Schmidt sees the future of the industry as more than just news online, but rather in user-generated and edited environments, much like Wikipedia, with real-time updates from services like Twitter, connected to users’ mobile phones.