Engines May Need To Pay To List Articles In Search Results

Plans by the European Union may have search engines Google, Bing and Yahoo paying publishers to list parts of articles in search query results under a new copyright rule.

The European Commission could propose that national legislation be allowed to require news publishers to claim compensation from Internet companies, such as search engine and content distributors, according to a document originally published by Statewatch. The draft document is copy of the commission's "impact assessment" for the promised overhaul to copyright measures.

Despite the growing success of online advertising last year, which Warc’s annual report estimates rose 71.3%, outperforming the overall market at just 7.5%, the increase of digital publisher revenue has not made up for the decline of print.



The draft copy admits that freely-available content remains crucial as it attracts advertising revenue, but the majority of news content available online, including social media news feeds on sites like Facebook, continues to provide challenges for publishers.

Although the visibility of news brings more visitors and advertising to publisher sites, it could take away just as much as it gives.

A recent study suggests 66 % of visits to newspapers' Web sites in France, Germany, Spain, and the United Kingdom consist of referral traffic channeled by other online services to the publisher's site, the total value of which has been estimated to be €746 million, according to the document.

On the other hand, 47% of consumers browse and read news on these Web sites without clicking on links to access the entire article in the newspaper page, which erodes advertising revenue from the newspaper web pages.

One report suggests online platforms like Facebook and Google will "suck" £450 million out of the U.K. news industry during the next decade and new EC reform will aim to help protect publishers from bleeding revenue.

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