Nieman Foundation at Harvard
America’s Test Kitchen, “the Consumer Reports of cooking,” wants to grow to new platforms
ABOUT                    SUBSCRIBE
Sept. 14, 2009, 7 p.m.

Google sharing revenue with publishers for new product

An experimental Google product for browsing news will, for the first time, share advertising revenue with participating publishers, the company is announcing this evening. It’s a small but significant shift for Google in its use and monetization of news content.

The new product is Fast Flip, which aggregates content from 40 news organizations, from The New York Times to Redbook, in screenshots that are reminiscent of flipping through a magazine. You can navigate by topic, source, or recommendations. And as Krishna Bharat, the creator of Google News, writes in a press release: “Fast Flip also personalizes the experience for you, by taking cues from selections you make to show you more content from sources, topics and journalists that you seem to like.”

I just briefly played around with a demo and appreciated the fast more than the flip; the mobile version, which I tried on Josh‘s iPhone, is pretty great. But I’ll leave the reviews to others. What’s intriguing to me about Fast Flip is the business model: Display ads are running alongside the content in Fast Flip, and Google is sharing that revenue with the participating publishers.

That’s a marked difference from Google News, where limited advertising experiments haven’t included any revenue sharing, much to the chagrin of newspaper companies. I asked Michael Kirkland, a spokesman for Google, what the different was in this case, and he said, “Google’s interest here is in trying to be a good partner to the news industry and to quality providers of news and try to frankly find ways to help publishers get more out of the web. It’s the first of several different types of experiments, different things we’ll be trying.”

The 40 news organizations participating at launch are mostly magazines, though a few major newspapers are involved as well non-profit investigative outlets like ProPublica and the Center for Public Integrity. “There is a focus on choosing really high-quality news providers,” Kirkland said. Here’s the full list:

BBC News, Billboard, BusinessWeek, Center for Investigative Reporting, Center for Public Integrity, Christian Science Monitor, CosmoGirl, Cosmopolitan, ELLE, Esquire, Fast Company, FRONTLINE, Foreign Policy, Good Housekeeping, Harper’s Bazaar, House Beautiful, Marie Claire, Men’s Journal, National Geographic, National Review Online, New York Times, Newsweek, Popular Mechanics, ProPublica, Quick & Simple, Redbook, SPIN, Salon, Seventeen, Slate, Smithsonian, TechCrunch, Technology Review, Teen, The Atlantic, The Daily Beast, The Daily Green, US Magazine, Veranda, Washington Post

Google is announcing Fast Flip right now at TechCrunch50, the technology conference. News of the product’s release was embargoed.

UPDATE, Tuesday, 7:00 a.m.: Chris Gaither, another spokesman for Google, points out that the company shares revenue with publishers Google News Archive, Google Books, YouTube, and other products. That’s a fair point, so I’ve changed the headline of this post to reflect that this isn’t the first time Google is sharing revenue. As I explain in the post, I was making a distinction between the ad revenue from Google News, which is not shared with publishers, and the revenue from Fast Flip, which will be.

POSTED     Sept. 14, 2009, 7 p.m.
Show comments  
Show tags
Join the 15,000 who get the freshest future-of-journalism news in our daily email.
America’s Test Kitchen, “the Consumer Reports of cooking,” wants to grow to new platforms
“We’d like to move to other platforms, particularly as we see the changes in how people consume television.”
A program from Poynter and ONA is helping foster a community of female leaders in digital media
The Women’s Leadership Academy provides camaraderie and concrete advice beyond a bundle of platitudes.
Come talk ad blockers with Nieman Lab and a set of experts in New York
We’re having our first event in New York City with industry leaders: Wednesday, December 2 at 6 p.m.
What to read next
How one blog helped spark The New York Times’ digital evolution
“I certainly had editors tell me that I shouldn’t be wasting my time on Bird Week. But that was the best part of City Room…We were like unsupervised children.”
572News outlets left and right (and up, down, and center) are embracing virtual reality technology
Among those experimenting is The Wall Street Journal, which plans to open source its 360-degree mobile video and VR technology and hopes to turn VR into more of a mainstay of its storytelling.
502Podcasting in 2015 feels a lot like blogging circa 2004: exciting, evolving, and trouble for incumbents
The same trends we saw a decade ago — professionalization on one hand, platformization on the other — sure seem to be playing out again.
These stories are our most popular on Twitter over the past 30 days.
See all our most recent pieces ➚
Encyclo is our encyclopedia of the future of news, chronicling the key players in journalism’s evolution.
Here are a few of the entries you’ll find in Encyclo.   Get the full Encyclo ➚
Gawker Media
The Wall Street Journal
Associated Press
O Globo
Public Radio International
Chicago Tribune
ABC News
El Faro