Google’s plan to tackle “fake news” with artificial intelligence has it sailing into turbulent waters. The plan also sees it taking on the management of news subscriptions for a cut: some 5 per cent for subscriptions through Google via a publisher’s website, and 15 per cent through an app.
That Google and Apple leverage profits from news sources has been contentious with news organisations from day one. Managing their online subscriptions for a cut takes this to a new level. In taking on this role, Google promises “no more forms, or credit cards”. Subscribing with Google gives readers access to publications’ paid content everywhere, be it on the publisher’s website or from within Google’s revamped news app, to be rolled out over the next few weeks.
It says some 60 publishers globally already are on board. The Daily Telegraph and The Australian are among local papers offering subscriptions through the new app. Richard Gingras, vice-president of news for Google, says it is early days for the service. But Google says more than 1000 magazine titles will come aboard.