Like a lot of things that Google announces, this announcement came and went in less than a 24 hour news cycle. On September 8th, Editor & Publisher wrote about a Google deal with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the St. Petersburg Times, and the Quebec Chronicle-Telegraph to digitally publish thousands, if not millions, of old newspaper articles that aren’t currently available online.
This makes a ton of sense. How many of those articles are earning revenue for publishers now? I’m sure the Google ad revenue will be small initially, but it could certainly grow over time into a nice revenue stream.
I was struck recently about the lack of access online to newspaper articles more than a few years old. I grew up in Macon, Georgia and went to high school in the 1980s. A few months ago I was looking online for some articles about Vex, a local punk band, that played in Macon in the mid-80s. But, with the exception of a few very, very obscure music sites, it was like the band never existed – online that is.
It’d be nice to have full and unfettered access to newspaper articles from not only 20 years ago, but 40, 60, 80, and 100 years ago.