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“Our incentives are very much aligned”: Google’s Head of News Ecosystems on why their relationship with publishers is misunderstood

What's New in Publishing 12 Jun 2019 07:00

Google has come under frequent fire from the publishing industry over the past few years, whether that’s for unfair algorithm changes, not doing enough to stop ad blocking, and most frequently, hoovering up ad dollars that were meant for publishers.

Some of these criticisms are well-deserved, and Google should rightly be held to account when it comes to algorithm transparency and how its actions affect the wider industry.

But the widely-held view that Google as part of the Duopoly is taking revenue that would otherwise end up in publisher’s pockets is too simplistic a take on what is quite a complicated issue. Many media analysts have already picked apart the New York Times story which wrongly claimed that Google made $4.7 billion from the news industry in 2018, but the fact that stories like this get shared so widely is demonstrative of a wider problem that Google is an easy target.

This week, the Media Voices podcast sat down with Madhav Chinnappa, Google’s Director of News Ecosystem Development, to find out why he believes Google’s place in the publishing ecosystem is fundamentally misunderstood.

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GoogleMadhav ChinnappaNew York TimesEsther Kezia Thorpe
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