June 3 (Reuters) - Web search startup Neeva on Thursday said it would share at least 20% of its sales with content partners such as Quora and Medium in another break from search giant Google, which for years has faced criticism for not remunerating publishers.
The revenue-split plan reflects a growing trend among technology companies as they face regulatory scrutiny over their outsized market power relative to content producers.
Neeva said in a blog post it would pay partners when “their content is used to directly answer a Neeva customer’s query.” It added to Reuters that fees would based on “a combination of impression and unique value.”
The company was co-founded in 2019 by Sridhar Ramaswamy, Google’s former senior vice president for ads, after he grew disillusioned with ad-laden search results pages. Neeva, unlike Google, goes ad-free by charging users $5 a month. Results mostly come from Microsoft Corp’s Bing, though users also can search some personal files.
When subscribers’ questions are best answered by information on question-and-answer forum Quora or blog network Medium, Neeva will display an in-depth excerpt and compensate the partner.
Quora and Medium told Reuters they would pass some revenue onto their contributors.
Neeva told Reuters that requirements to become a partner would be set as the program expands. Partner relationships will not affect ordering of results, Neeva added.
Newspapers and reference tools have criticized Google for pulling similar snippets without payment. Google for years has said websites benefit because previews lead to visitors, who can be shown ads or upsold.
Still, Google last year announced $1 billion in funding for news publications in a first-of-its-kind content licensing scheme for the company.
Neeva in a blog criticized older services for long failing to support content companies.
“When creators aren’t rewarded for creating great content, they are not motivated to create it, and we all suffer,” it said. (Reporting by Paresh Dave; Editing by David Gregorio)