Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Is Google planning to become a publisher?

Leigh Watson Healy, Google as Publisher: Is Google Poised for a New Push into the Information Industry?  Outsell, May 2007.  The report is not OA and not even close (it costs $1,295).  But the thesis is interesting.  From the press release:

A new Outsell, Inc. report on Google’s technology reveals that Google can enter the publishing industry at any time with the “flip of a switch.”

“News publishers and providers, book and magazine publishers, and directory providers are all in Google’s line of fire,” said Leigh Watson Healy, Chief Analyst, Outsell.

[The report]...looks at how Google’s technical infrastructure, patents and agile development processes give the company the readiness to enter the publishing segment, whether accidentally or intentionally. A unique feature of the report is a comprehensive list of Google’s publishing-related patents, which can be “powered up” under the right circumstances. Google has also assembled technologies that extend along the entire spectrum of publishing’s core functions—-from content acquisition to e-commerce and royalty payments.

According to Stephen E. Arnold, GGReport’s technology analyst, “Pundits focus on Google’s search and advertising business. Google has developed powerful content acquisition and publishing tools under the radar of most Wall Street analysts and publishers. Combined with Google’s Checkout, a payment system similar to eBay’s, Google can become a one-stop shop and disintermediate anyone between the author or content creator and the buyer.”

The Outsell report analyzes:

  • Google’s content creation engine.
  • The cost and automation advantages of Google’s “intelligent” publishing system over a traditional publisher’s operation—which represent formidable barriers to entry.
  • Essential actions for existing publishers and information providers that want to remain competitive should Google make a move, such as quickly adopting an agile publishing platform.