Google: Cable TV-style paid content will emerge on web

Google’s head of global sales has stepped into the ongoing debate about whether online publishers will ever be able to successfully charge users for content.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme (2hrs 45mins) ahead of the search giant’s annual Zeitgeist innovation conference, Nikesh Arora said paid-for content – based on a model similar to the one on which cable TV is based – would emerge as the internet matures.

Asked if figures such as Rupert Murdoch would succeed in changing the nature of how we think about content online, Arora said: “If you go back in history and look at the production of content and how people get money for it, on the one hand we pay premium revenues for exclusive cable channels, on the other hand we have free newspapers.

“At the end of the day people create content and they find different ways of monetising it. The free paper on the Tube gets monetised by advertising, the premium content with no advertising in cable TV get purely paid by the consumer. And I think that on the internet you will see such models emerge.”

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