In the 11 years to 2016, publishers in the UK saw their total share in advertising reduce to just 2.3 billion from 5 billion. In the same period, Google shot up from 1 billion to 6 billion.
Publishers in the UK immediately accused the internet giant of unfairly stealing advertising space. According to Google's UK chief Ronan Harris, however, 'this collapse in the share of advertising revenues won by UK national and regional titles was unrelated to Google's rise and now dominance of the sector'. He felt that both sides must seek 'common cause' rather than fight amongst themselves.
In a speech to the Society of Editors Harris remarked: "I've heard lots of people say that Google and Facebook are 'ruthlessly stealing' all the advertising revenue that publishers hoped to acquire through online editions. That analysis just isn't right."
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