“Moral Imperative” for Google to Help Newspapers to Survive

Posted: June 12th, 2008 under journalism, newspaper crisis.
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…some might say the train has already left the station on that one…

Not sure what it is that’s behind this announcement. Perhaps someone at Google belatedly came to the realization that without newspapers, there’s no real fresh content on the web, and thus nothing for Google to sell its ads against? Schmidt was short on specifics as to how it is that Google plans to “help,” but this graf has got to make business managers cringe:

Still, he acknowledged the boost probably won’t be enough to restore the hefty profit margins that newspaper publishers historically have enjoyed from print advertising.

Interestingly, later in the story, Schmidt continues to bang the drum for its mobile advertising platform, Android. Now, I’ve been looking into online advertising pretty thoroughly for the last three months, and I gotta say, predicting that Google is going to make more money from mobile than from the web within five years … well, I want some of what he’s been smoking.

Then again, not too many people have made fortunes lately by betting against Google. And yeah, I realize that what he’s doing is banging the drum for a very expensive product that Google has poured resources into, in the hopes that the market will catch the hype virus, and start migrating their ads to mobile. If anyone thinks that Google is going to have an easy time recovering their investment from Android, well, check out the ROI numbers (if you can find them) for YouTube. Have they really managed to monetize all the vids there yet? Magic 8-ball says “Answer Cloudy – Ask Again Later.”

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