The benefits aggregation services like Google News gain is that the information they put on the site have additional content and provides a broader view of the topic, industry and subject matter. That is what appeals to the readers, as they can skim through the important news they want to read and don’t need to go through the unimportant news like in newspapers or TV. Online news aggregation services like Google News are changing the way news is being advertised to people. Since the creation of Google News, it has become one of the best innovations for the company in terms of subscriptions to their feeds and revenues they generate through readers. What Google does best is that it gathers interesting things and presents them in new ways to appeal to the vast audiences.
Effects on the newspaper industry
During the past decade, the Internet has become an important news source for most Americans. According to a study conducted by the Pew Internet and American Life Project, as of January 2010, nearly 61 percent of Americans got at least some of their news online in a typical day. (Isbell, 2010). This statistic shows us that there is a lot of reliance on the internet for news. People have forgone the traditional practices of getting their news through newspapers, magazines and TV. Thus, there is a decline in the traditional media these days.
News Corporations Rupert Murdoch and Associate Press Chairman Dean Singleton have reasoning to believe that the major cause of the decline in the traditional media is due to the rise of the news aggregators. According to this theory, news aggregators from Google News to The Huffington Post are free-riding, reselling and profiting from the factual information gathered by traditional media organizations at great cost. (Isbell, 2010). Aggregation services threaten the print media because they are emerging as the new front page which people skim through every morning for headlines instead of going to any single newspaper site. (Schonfeld, 2009).
The other reasoning behind low print media numbers is that companies have started to advertise more on the sites as they cost much less as compared to advertising on the newspapers. The problem with newspapers these days is that there are about 20% top headline stories and the rest of the 80% is usually not relevant or uninteresting to the reader. Aggregation sites create loads and loads of important headlines from all over thus captivating the audience. The value not only comes from skimming through the website material but clicking the links to the various headlines creates value. Of course newspapers are failing because you surely cannot capture the reader’s attention with only 20% news and the other 80% being irrelevant. Aggregation services use automated logarithms to get really good content, and thus it’s not only the front pages that captures the audience attention but the other pages are as interesting as the first one.
Basically newspapers cater to the needs of a higher class of people who earn higher than average income whereas aggregation services like Google News cater to every age group as anyone can access the news from anywhere with no fear of purchasing any material on the web they read. Plus, the cost of paper, ink, postage, and physical distribution will never be a contender in a world of electronic communication. Therefore, newspapers are now creating websites for their readers and advertisers. The classified sections on the newspaper are being threatened because sites like Craigslist are seeking a share of the classified market. This shows that the task is becoming more difficult as newspapers try to serve a diverse audience of readers.
Aggregation services are fast in staying up to date in their industries, track competitors, monitor industry blogs, and follow specific Websites. Aggregation services get the best of their data in a very speedy manner meaning that they get their news feeds as soon as a special event or news occurs. In short, newspapers are struggling to attract the customer base they once had due to technological advances on the internet.
Aggregation services improving over the years
I will take example of Google News and how they have approached online aggregation services. Google News over the years has improved and has grown smarter than many other aggregation services. They keep track of user behavior which is very important as people’s view and opinions change daily and is never on one thing. Google News uses a very different algorithm to that used for their Google search. Google News uses a closed index whereas their search engine uses an open index. Now, the difference is that in a closed index Google News will only capture the news related items, whereas in an open index the search engine will take everything into consideration thus making the database even bigger. Thus, Google News gets their information in a more real time manner which is faster and becomes easier for users to find what they are looking for.
Other aggregation services are also taking note of this and improving their services as well. Aggregation services are less concerned of what type of medium they will be using and are more concerned about making sure that the news continues to be flowing for example those enterprise journals, editorials and other things that can be seen in the newspapers. Therefore, their main concern or interest is to try and make sure that the news not only survives but thrives. The only way to ensure the speediest delivery of news to the audience, aggregation services use specialized algorithms to get these cluster of news out to the readers thought their internet sites rather than the traditional newspapers which takes longer and hold up to 60% of ad space.
If we look at the pace at which the media is going online, news is the area which would benefit the most when it is online. With something new happening every other minute, breaking news becoming a daily issue, with updates and alerts which require something more than the traditional media network, it is the time that the news gets online. Every time there is breaking news it is posted online for the internet users to stay in touch without any effort to do the same. (Chris Williams, n.d.). I mean the best way for a person to stay up to date with the latest information is to log in to one of the online sites and check the news rather than having the hassle of buying a newspaper or turning on the TV or the radio. It saves a lot of time for a person to do this.
The competition to make the news more attractive is lesser in the online world, considering the fact that it is simpler in most ways than the print media. The print media requires you to come up with innovative ideas every other day to stay afresh in the emerging competitive market. Comparatively, in the online news market the competition to stay new is less. (Chris Williams, n.d.). Therefore, sites like Google News and The Huffington Post don’t really care whose site is better, but rather are interested that the news they are providing is being read by the audience and that it is getting to every person in a timely manner.