When Apple and Facebook decided to get into the news distribution business, the move signaled the beginning of the end for the ability of publishers to determine how their content is delivered to customers. On the one hand, social media platforms delivering news stories can affect just how much revenue the publishers can generate, and it can add a sort of random element to the effectiveness of web publishing. But on the other hand, social media platforms taking over news distribution means that news publishers can focus more on delivering content readers really want, which can have a positive effect on revenue.
Everyone expected Google to get involved in the news distribution business, but few people expected Google to bring out a platform that would give Apple and Facebook a run for their money. Google’s new Accelerated Mobile Pages platform is very unique, and it could help to take some of the focus off Apple and Facebook and put it back on the publishers.
How It Works
Google is teaming up with Twitter to deliver Internet content to mobile devices at a speed that is similar to the native apps that publishers are already using. That means that people would be able to search for news on Google through their smartphones, and get the article they want from the New York Times delivered to their smartphone at the same speed that the New York Times’ app would deliver the content.
Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages will also format the content so that it can be read on mobile devices. According to the Technical Times of India, the New York Times has signed up as one of the first content creators to utilize this new service in its beta form.
Pros And Cons
According to Wired.com, the biggest pro for publishers is that Google will not be charging for this service. The advantage is that the content will come directly from the publisher’s website and be delivered to the user’s mobile device. With the Apple and Facebook platforms, the publishers must publish their content on Apple and Facebook’s network, and that makes publishers nervous because it decreases traffic to their websites.
The one bad thing about Accelerated Mobile Pages is that the search results remain random, so publishers never know when their content will be seen by users. The random nature of the program makes it very difficult for publishers to monetize the service, but the service is actually very easy for Google to use to generate revenue.
Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages can rival Apple and Facebook’s news platforms because Google does not require the publishers to put the content directly on Google’s network. As the New York Times and Twitter work together to try and roll out the beta version of this program, it will be interesting to see how publishers react to a feature that allows Google to make guaranteed revenue from a publisher’s content, but offers the publisher no guarantee for their own revenue generating abilities.
What are some steps publishers can take in order to increase the likelihood that they will profit off of Google’s new platform?