This story has been laying around in my drafts folder for quite some time now. Ever since Apple introduced Siri actually, but today I read something which ties in nicely with it.
At TechCrunch I read a story by Josh Constine titled Why Google’s Plan To Make Maps Pay For Itself Could Backfire. It’s about Apple starting to move away from Google Maps, and others possibly following suit.
Why? Because Google wants to start making money off of their API. At the beginning of March they started charging high-volume customers like this:
The Google Maps API used to be free, as it was trying to gain popularity and displace MapQuest and Yahoo. At the beginning of March it began charging anyone pulling over 25,000 page loads a day $4, $8, or $10 per additional 1,000 loads
This is serious stuff, and if I were a betting man, I’d bet that it will backfire with more and more companies opting to go to OpenStreetMap, which doesn’t charge a dime. It only requires the companies using it to contribute improvements to all other customers.
Anyhow, back to Google’s problem: Their revenue (around 92% of it) comes from advertising, with a huge percentage from mobile.
With companies like Apple (arguably the biggest player in mobile usage) pulling out of Google’s services, where’s the revenue going to come from?
This is what happens when your business is advertising. Google needs to find ways to make money, because services like Siri avoid Google at all costs. Others will follow. Foursquare, Yelp and many more come to mind. All of them with a good relationship with…Apple.
So what will Google need to do to avoid becoming the next Yahoo? It will have to change it’s complete MO, but since the guys and gals in Mountain View are engineering-driven, I doubt they’ll be able to do it in time. We will see…
I bet copying Apple’s iOS doesn’t seem like a very good idea by now.