Reports Of Google's New Subscription Model 'Totally Wrong'

Google said recent reports about its new subscription business model designed to share revenue with media outlets are "totally wrong," according to a statement provided to CNET by company spokeswoman Maggie Shiels. The firm's subscription-related plans were initially reported by Financial Times on Sunday, with the publication basing much of its information on statements attributed to Google Vice President of News Richard Gingras.

While Ms. Shiels didn't deny that Mr. Gingras spoke with FT, she explicitly stated that the company's subscription initiative is in an early phase of development and Google has yet to even approach a single potential partner, let alone agree on a deal with any of them. FT's original report also suggested that Google already decided on the approximate revenue share it would apply to all subscriptions it helped broker but the company's subsequent statement on the matter dismissed that notion as well, adding that no firm decisions on how much revenue would be shared with publishers if the program was to ever go live have yet been reached. No major components of the subscription model will be defined until the Mountain View, California-based tech giant receives input from various news publishers, Ms. Shiels indicated, revealing that the talks themselves are yet to start taking place.

Mr. Gingras was yesterday quoted by FT as promising a "very generous" revenue share to media outlets which was supposed to be larger than the one the company uses for its advertising business which gives at least 70 percent of all revenue to publishers. While the clarification provided by Google dismisses the majority of the Sunday report, it does acknowledge that the internet firm has a news subscription initiative in the making and will presumably complete the development of its upcoming product in the near future. Alphabet's subsidiary just recently revamped its one-click policy which penalized websites that opted to put hard paywalls in front of their content by ranking them significantly lower in Search results. The company appears to still be in the process of assisting news outlets in becoming more successful after some of them accused it of damaging the profitability of the industry by devaluing ads and making it harder for non-free websites to receive organic search traffic.

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