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Google’s NewsPass – an olive branch?

Posted by Michael Bloch in online world (Tuesday June 22, 2010 )

There is no love lost between Google and some newspapers. Rupert Murdoch’s decision to ban Google from indexing content shows the level of contempt some in the industry have towards the Mighty G. But Google might have a solution to keep everyone (well some) happy.

Italian newspaper is reporting Google has approached some local newspapers touting a new service currently being tested called NewsPass.

The way I understand it – my Italian is shocking and Google’s valiant attempt to translate the page still wasn’t really clear – is that under NewsPass papers can have their news content indexed and when the user clicks through; they’ll hit a paywall – much like Rupert’s paywall setup, but this one Google controlled. The user will pay their chunk o’ change via Google Checkout, get access and then I assume Google and the newspaper will share the revenue.

I don’t think Rupert will welcome this with open arms – if anything it may make him even more irate. Murdoch is banning Google from some of his properties (I think that has begun); so he’ll be missing out on a bunch of traffic as it is. He’s also gone to the expense of setting up all the paywall infrastructure. Then Google (allegedly) decides to implement NewsPass; exactly what Rupert wants to do himself – with the difference being these papers who team up with Google will have their content indexed and available on the search giant; getting lots and lots of free traffic – and cash from some of that traffic to boot; I assume without all the headaches associated with maintaining payment systems.

I really don’t want to pay for my news, but I’ve got to admit, this is a good idea from Google – instead of butting heads with the newspaper industry, it’s trying to work with it.. umm.. perhaps minus Rupert.

But I’m sure Google would welcome Mr. Murdoch back with open arms.


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