Home > Latest News > OZ Media Companies Facing New Threat After Meta Loss, This Time From Google

OZ Media Companies Facing New Threat After Meta Loss, This Time From Google

Australian media owners who are complaining loudly over the loss of millions in revenue from Meta and Facebook are now facing another problem following this week’s controversial move by Google to introduce AI-generated summaries to its search engine.

Announced at their annual I/O conference, it’s already being reported that the move could cause “catastrophic” damage to cash-strapped publishers who are relying on social media to drive traffic vs in some cases good old fashioned exclusive stories.

Also set to be hit are fringe news content creators who rely on social media traffic to generate revenue. In Australia, several tech media companies are suffering following recent changes made by Google to their algorithms.

Basically, the new Google technology will automatically generate answers to complex user queries such as “how to fix my broken washing machine,” with search results effectively demoting links to other websites.

News Media Alliance CEO Danielle Coffee – who leads a nonprofit that represents more than 2,200 publishers, including News Corporation publications – described Google’s plans as a “perverse twist on innovation” that will be “catastrophic to traffic.”

“Google’s new product will further diminish the limited traffic publishers rely on to invest in journalists, uncover and report on critical issues, and to fuel these AI summaries in the first place,” Coffee told The New York Post.

“It is offensive and potentially unlawful to accept this fate from a dominant monopoly that makes up the rules as they go.”

Observers claim that the change could prompt increased regulatory and legal scrutiny for Google in Australia with the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission currently investigating digital platforms.

In the US, Google is already facing landmark federal antitrust suit targeting its alleged monopoly of over 90% of the online search market.

Google also faces several legal battles over its ad tech practices, including a $2.3 billion lawsuit filed by media giant Axel Springer and 31 other publishers in February.

Several media companies including Sony Music have slammed Google and OpenAI for using publishers’ content to “train” their AI chatbots without proper credit or compensation — and then using the chatbots to further erode their audiences.

Google detailed its AI plans for search just one day after Microsoft-backed OpenAI, its chief competitor on the burgeoning technology, unveiled an upgraded chatbot capable of holding conversations with users in real time.

Google tried to head off the media industry’s concerns about lost traffic in a blog post stressing that simpler search queries, such as searches for particular companies or websites, will yield a more traditional set of results.

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