Associated Press Google News partnership ends

The AP removed from Google News after licensing talks break down, more publications could end their Google partnerships

The search giant has confirmed that it would no longer publish news articles from The Associated Press, after what appears to be a breakdown in licensing talks.

Google first started indexing and using AP content from the first licensing agreement set in the summer of 2007.

The news comes as other content providers such as the Wall Street Journal have threatened to block Google from indexing, using, and providing their content.

Rupert Murdoch, Chairman and CEO of News Corporation that owns the Wall Street Journal told Sky News on November 9, 2009, that he is strongly considering (and will likely exercise) the option of ending all licensing agreements between Google and the WSJ that will block Google from indexing any content from the site.

Murdoch’s position is publications bare the exuberant costs of publishing news, and that this news should have never been made available to Internet users free of charge.

He acknowledges stopping Google from indexing WSJ content will significantly reduce the number of visitors to the site, but he maintains he would prefer having fewer, more loyal and paying readers.

On December 2, 2009, Google introduced new features for content providers to block and limit parts of their content.

Google spokesman told CNN in an email that Google would not be adding new content from the AP.

Google helps contribute to revenue for publications given the sheer amount of traffic (and hence ad impressions) websites experience as people land on article pages from search results (and from Google News). Google also helps introduce new readers to publications, likely turning many from prospects into loyal readers.

In the case of The Associated Press, its business model mainly generates revenue from licensing AP content to other publications (including the WSJ). For that reason, it is less beneficial for The AP to receive traffic from Google since it generates royalties for licensing its content to other publishers.

Based on publicly available Internet metrics data, it is estimated that about 30-percent of total traffic to the WSJ originates from Google, while a significant portion of profits are generated from advertising revenue for the WSJ and other publications. For that reason, the consequences for publications such as the WS, among others, could be profound.


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Murad is an engineering graduate from Centennial college in Toronto, Canada. Write to murad@business2press.com
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