Sorry, we could not find the combination you entered »
Please enter your email and we will send you an email where you can pick a new password.
Reset password:


Plus Report - By Thomas Baekdal - June 2019

What really happened to publishers when Google entered the market?

The "Google should pay for linking to us"-battle has come to the US. This is a battle that we have had here in Europe for ... well... forever, but now US publishers also think this will be the solution to all their problems.

As a media analyst, I am so frustrated by this, because it illustrates a complete and total lack of understanding of why the market has changed the way it has.

The problem is that the media industry is wrong about why they are losing the market to Google. It's not because Google is indexing our articles, it's because they created something we in the media have never done. And this doesn't just apply to Google. It's the same story when it comes to things like Craigslist.

I have been trying to explain this for 15 years, without much luck, so with this article, I'm going back to the basics. I will illustrate what has actually happened, and why we are essentially fighting the wrong fight.

The reality is that, even if publishers end up convincing the politicians to give them what they want, they are still going to lose.

But let me explain why.

How search dramatically changed everything

If you are as old as me, you will remember a world before search. A time where if you wanted to find something, you basically had to resort to trial and error.

Let me give you an example from the world of retail, and then I will explain why it's the same for publishers.

Imagine that you want to buy a new shirt, but you are living in a small town that only has six fashion shops. How would you find that before the internet?

Well, you would go out into the city and visit each shop. You would go to the first shop and ask if they had what you were looking for, then to the next shop, and the next, until eventually you found something that was kind of what you liked.

This 31 page report is exclusive for subscribers. (login)

Try it free for one week

Register to try out Baekdal Plus completely for free for one week.

for just...
for just...
You get two months for free


Baekdal Plus is your premium destination for trends and analysis for the media industry. Every year you get 25 reports about the future media trends, business and editorial strategies, monetization analysis and insights about how to use analytics specifically for publishers.

As a subscriber, you also get full access to all the Plus reports (more than 200) published over the past 8 years, as well as the ability to share what you read.

I'm a company, can we pay via an invoice?

Yes, of course, please write to and I will send you a regular invoice that you can pay via your bank. I will need your company name, address and VAT number (if within the EU). Also, please note that due to this process being manual, this will be for an annual subscription only.

Is there an Enterprise Plan?

Yes, please write to for details. But for 25-99 users: the price is 20% off the subscription price ($79/year per user), 100+ users is a fixed price at $5,000 (for all combined).

Can you create a report just for us?

Yes, please head over to Baekdal Media to read about consulting where I can help you with strategy reviews, trend and strategy reports, and strategic guidance for you media company or a specific publication.



The Baekdal Plus Newsletter is the best way to be notified about the latest media reports, but it also comes with extra insights.

Get the newsletter

Thomas Baekdal

Founder, media analyst, author, and publisher. Follow on Twitter

"Thomas Baekdal is one of Scandinavia's most sought-after experts in the digitization of media companies. He has made ​​himself known for his analysis of how digitization has changed the way we consume media."
Swedish business magazine, Resumé


—   trends   —


The trend and future outlook for "brand+publisher", and how to make that work


How scared should we be of AIs taking our jobs?


What is the role of print in 2023?


Advertising ... 10 years from now


Advertising will always be a struggle unless we think like brands


The trends currently favor media innovation