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Alphabet Considers Paywall for AI-Powered Google Features

  • Google considers charging for premium AI content and may integrate AI-powered search features into subscriptions.
  • Despite challenges, Google maintains search engine dominance, primarily fueled by advertising revenue, with plans to expand subscription services.

Google, used by billions around the globe, is reported to be considering charging premium content created with artificial intelligence (AI).

Alphabet Inc, who owns Google Inc, has revealed plans to update their business model by considering moving some core product behind a paywall.

Google would mark its first instance of charging users for content it provides them.

Google announced it does not have anything new to share at this time.

According to Financial Times (FT), Google may consider adding certain AI-powered search features to its premium subscription services that already offer access to Gemini – its version of ChatGPT that went viral earlier.

Executives have not decided when or if to adopt the technology yet; however, The Financial Times reported engineers are developing expertise necessary for its deployment.

Google’s traditional search engine would remain free-of-charge but would feature ads alongside content search queries, with subscribers also seeing this content, the Financial Times (FT) reported.

Google is facing difficulties adapting to the AI revolution – this year alone Gemini, its AI which can answer text queries as well as generate images in response to text prompts, caused considerable outrage when it mistakenly created an image depicting US Founding Fathers that included black people.

Google issued an apology and immediately “paused” its tool as “missing the mark”.

However, Google remains the go-to choice for many internet users when it comes to searching for information online.

According to global market research company Statista, Google has held its lead over desktop search engine users with over 80%+ since 2015. Multiple websites suggest it serves over one billion daily visitors.

Google generates most of its revenues through advertising. Alphabet, its parent company, ranks amongst one of the biggest internet firms worldwide with an estimated 2023 valuation of $1.6tn (PS1.26tn), according to Statista.

But it has diversified, now offering mail, productivity tools, enterprise products and mobile devices among many other ventures – and in 2023 achieved annual revenues estimated to total approximately $305.6bn (PS241bn).

According to Google’s statement issued to BBC, they do not plan on or are considering offering an ad-free search experience.

“Like we have in the past, Google will continue to develop premium capabilities and services to expand its subscription offerings across Google,” according to an announcement made by the search giant. However, they didn’t reveal anything new yet.

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