Google Contemplates Charging for AI-driven Search, Marking a Significant Business Model Shift

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Google mulls charging for AI-driven search. Major business model shift on the horizon. Stay informed on this groundbreaking development.

Google is contemplating introducing paid “premium” features utilizing generative artificial intelligence, marking a significant shift in its search business model.

This potential overhaul would be the first instance of Google placing any of its core products behind a paywall, highlighting its ongoing struggle with technology that challenges its advertising-centric model, notably since the introduction of ChatGPT a year and a half ago.

The proposed changes involve integrating AI-powered search functionalities into its existing premium subscription services, such as Gemini AI assistant in Gmail and Docs. While engineers are actively working on the necessary technology for this service, company executives have yet to finalize a decision on its launch.

Notably, Google’s conventional search engine would remain free, and subscribers would still encounter advertisements alongside search results. However, the introduction of paid features signifies a departure for Google, which has historically provided free consumer services supported solely by advertising revenue.

Despite generating $175 billion in revenue from search and related ads last year, constituting more than half of its total sales, Google faces the challenge of embracing AI advancements while safeguarding its primary revenue stream.

Source: Financial Times

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