Google CEO says Android and subscription news could net $10 billion

According to CEO Eric Schmidt, Google has positioned itself to make $10 billion dollars or more per year in the mobile business, from things like subscription news.  "If we have a billion people using Android, you think we can't make money from that?" He went on to say that it would only take 10 dollars per person, per year, and among other things, Google might earn that money from selling access to digital content from newspapers. 

We're used to thinking of Google as a search and advertising giant, but maybe the big G has plans to expand?  It makes sense -- Google gives away Android, and they certainly know how to generate cash.  Considering the other Google services, they have the ability to do paid news right.  What else they have in mind to go along with paid news, Schmidt didn't say, but some sort of music service has been tossed around a lot lately, too.  Make it as functional and personalized as everything else Android, and you got my 10 bucks Mr. Schmidt. [WSJ via Electronista]

Jerry Hildenbrand
Senior Editor — Google Ecosystem

Jerry is an amateur woodworker and struggling shade tree mechanic. There's nothing he can't take apart, but many things he can't reassemble. You'll find him writing and speaking his loud opinion on Android Central and occasionally on Twitter.

  • I would gladly pay a fair amount for good services. It will entice and encourage greater development and support from business and developers. Please - take my 10 bucks too. Let's see all this continue to grow and grow and grow . . .
  • Make a Google-blessed Tablet that has a 326ppi IPS screen with 2.2 or Gingerbread and I will buy that and would consider some subscriptions to newspapers/magazines depending on price. I noticed recently that Apple is being slammed for allegedly revoking the subscription model from the Sports Illustrated App because the payments would go directly to the publisher without Apple taking their 30% slice. Which I think has screwed them over as I can't imagine wanting to pay $4.99 per issue when a full 1 year subscription of the printed magazine which includes 56 issues is $39 or 70 cents pre issue! That however doesn't help Sports Illustrated as it would seem Google would still want a slice then.
  • If MobileMe commands or commanded $100 a year I'd gladly give Google and Android $100 a year for its services.
  • Same here uberspeed
  • I probably spent that in apps.
  • I like the simple assumptive reasoning that there will be at least 1 billion Android users. If anyone doubts Google's commitment or ambition for the OS, the fact that the CEO sees a billion users as the starting point to extrapolate from, they should be encouraged ;).
  • 1 billion is a hell of lot of people. at 160,000 activations per day it would take 17 years. not to mention those 160,000 would all have to be NEW users not people upgrading phones. AND they would have to stick with android for the next 17 years... something else will definately come along in that time.
  • I don't think the Google CEO is expecting no growth in the number of activations per day. That figure is a whole month out of date, who knows where we are by now ;). Also Android is likely to be built into all sorts of devices and many people will end up with more than one. It does highlight the futility of defining the smartphone market in terms of Apple though. The proportion of the World's population that already have a smartphone is tiny and the growth potential for an OS that can cater for many different segments and cost points in the market, has huge potential to deliver very large numbers of users. Android and likely WP7 both seem to get this.
  • Not saying I agree or disagree with Schmidt, but I'm sure he uses a logarithmic equation based on daily growth of adopter numbers to get there, rather than dividing 1,000,000,000 by 160,000 :)
  • either way, the world population is only 6.8 billion. To expect 1 out of every 7 men women and children on the entire planet to be using a smart phone with android on it is a bit of a stretch to say the very least.
  • Agree, but the possibility of hundreds of millions of users with multiple Android devices is a real possibility. Anyway, I thought it was obvious that he was being somewhat rhetorical in order to underline the point that Google expect to be able to monetise the platform to great effect.
  • let just hope when they do that the rest of the world would not be in a google app market situation where people cant get paid content even if they want to buy it.
  • Who pays for news? It's free.
  • Exactly. Ask the times in london. They saw there traffic fall through the floor when they tried to get people to pay. No one is going to give even 10 dollars a year for news bites and upi stories.
  • This is like saying, "If I sell cookies and one million people each buy one for a dollar a piece, I'll be a millionaire." I have no doubt Google will be able to find a way to monetize Android somehow, but the assumption here is ridiculous.
  • Stories like this remind me of another one I read a while back...
    There are numbers less than 1%