Google Eyes Paid AI Search Features, Explores Subscription Model; Report

Tyler Durden's Photo
by Tyler Durden
Thursday, Apr 04, 2024 - 07:05 PM

Authored by Amaka Nwaokocha via,

Google is considering introducing premium features powered by generative artificial intelligence (AI) in its search engine.

The move would mark the first time a core Google product is behind a paywall. However, the free search experience with advertisements will still be available.

According to a Financial Times report on April 3, the tech giant is looking at a variety of options, including incorporating AI-powered search features to its premium subscription services, which already provide access to its new Gemini AI assistant in Gmail and Docs.

Google mainly relies on advertising for monetization. The company already offers various plans, such as the Gemini AI assistant in Gmail and Docs.

However, these subscriptions currently do not enhance the search experience. The company’s main product, Google Search, has been free since its launch in the early 2000s. However, the tech giant might be exploring different means of monetization.

The report added that Google’s traditional search engine would remain free of charge and that ads would continue to appear alongside search results even for subscribers.

With the recent competition in AI, most tech companies have tried to bring more products to the market.

Google started trialing its AI-driven search tool, combining tailored narratives with web links and advertisements. Yet integration into the primary search engine lags due to delayed feature adoption from its experimental “search generative experience.”

However, AI queries demand more computing power, which ultimately is costly compared to general queries. Therefore, it may not be profitable if Google brings its “Search Generative Experience” for free.

A spokesperson from Google said that the company has no plans for an ad-free search experience: 

“We’re not working on or considering an ad-free search experience. As we’ve done many times before, we’ll continue to build new premium capabilities and services to enhance our subscription offerings across Google.”

In February, Google added a new paid tier to its consumer subscription service that gives people access to its latest AI model, Gemini.

Users who pay for the subscription, called Google One AI Premium, can use the advanced Gemini chatbot and access the generative AI model in popular services such as Gmail and Google Docs.

Google, credited with pioneering the technology underlying the current AI surge, finds itself embroiled in competition with two prominent industry players: OpenAI, the developer of ChatGPT, and Microsoft, its supporter.