David Chavern, president of the News Media Alliance, which represents the US newspaper sector, said the announcement was “vague and confusing” and may be designed to help Google negotiate its legal battles with media.
“It is a step in the right direction, but only a quite small one,” he said.
Gabriel Kahn, a professor who follows media economics at the University of Southern California, said Google’s move is not what the industry has been seeking.
“Google has crossed an important philosophical threshold — the idea of paying the producers of the content that it distributes,” Kahn said.
“But this is still Google setting the rules for its own game. Google is still the one deciding who gets to play, what the terms are and how much is paid out.”
Nikos Smyrnaios, a media professor at the University of Toulouse in France, said Google’s announcement “fits into a strategy of divide and conquer” and may be part of an effort to avoid a broader compensation plan.