The Indian Newspaper Society (INS), the central organization of the Press of India, has asked Google to “properly share advertising revenues” for content published by newspapers, ensuring that the country’s publishers are paid 85% of the advertising revenue for their content. This move has been undertaken to ensure more transparency in the revenue reports provided to publishers and comes after the American search giant struck a deal with Rupert Murdoch’s NewsCorp.
In a letter to Sanjay Gupta, Google India’s country manager, INS president L Adimoolam demanded that Google should “pay for news generated by newspapers which employ thousands of journalists on the ground at considerable expense,” asking the tech giant to “comprehensively” compensate Indian newspapers for using content published by them and to share its advertising revenues properly.
“The Society insisted that Google should increase the publisher share of advertising revenue to 85 percent, and also ensure more transparency in the revenue reports provided to publishers by Google. It has also noted that Google has recently agreed to better compensate and pay publishers in France, the European Union, and Australia. Since the content that is generated and published by newspapers is proprietary, the society pointed out that it is this credible content which has given Google the authenticity in India ever since its inception,” said INS in a statement.
Saying that publishers have been providing complete access to “quality journalism with credible news, current affairs, analysis, information, and entertainment,” it said that there was a huge distinction “between the editorial content from quality publications and fake news that is spreading on other information platforms.”
INS also said that that advertising has been the financial backbone of the news industry, raising the issue of giving greater prominence to editorial content from genuine news publishers to tackle fake news, since Google picks up content from several sites that are not credible, thus “amplifying misinformation and propagation of fake news.”
In a blog post last June, Google said that news publishers keep over 95% of the digital advertising revenue they generate when they use Google’s Ad Manager to show ads on their websites, but the exact amount of revenue earned is still unknown.
This move came soon after Australia passed the controversial News Media and Digital Platforms Mandatory Bargaining Code requiring companies like Google and Facebook to pay for news content on their platforms. Google and Facebook held a combined market share of 65% across the online advertising space in India, as of 2018.