Digital experts say the “long overdue” change in policy could now see other industries looking to strike similar deals with the company.
Matthew Stein from analysts Item says/ “Google has had to take a lot on the chin over the past few weeks from publishers and Mr Murdoch, but by throwing open a deal like this, others are bound to follow suit. The music industry for instance could use it to trail songs and encourage sales, as could book publishers – text can be indexed and content can be limited, provided it has a secure system behind it.”
Last week Google CEO Eric Schmidt said the company was being unfairly made a scapegoat by newspaper executives “looking for someone to blame (for their) dwindling revenue and diminished resources.” He added the search engine is a “great source of promotion”.
Lorenzo Wood, principal at digital agency LBi, says: “It’s all rather odd. Content has to be visible if you want online views, so really the argument is: what makes your content different to justify it being hidden behind a pay-wall after a select number of clicks? Is the traffic you get from Google worth limiting free views? Maybe you just shouldn’t index at all and keep it all premium.”