Should-Read: Ben Thompson: DistroKid, The “Publisher’s Right”, Shopify’s Results: “As I’ve noted… the old value chain had three parts: supply — distribution — demand…

…The value in that value chain derived from supply owning distribution, which let said suppliers bundle the content that was in demand with ads. Per the previous item, though, the Internet has completely destroyed the value of distribution: it’s basically free, which is another way of saying it is worthless. The replacement for distribution in the value chain was instead discovery: now that everything was available everywhere, how were consumers demanding content to find what they wished to read?

What these European publishers continue not to grok is that while distribution inherently favored the supply side, discovery inherently favors the demand side. Specifically, publishers controlled distribution, while consumers control discovery. That is why the suggestion that Google owes publishers a dime is completely at odds with economic reality. The truth is that any publisher can, at any time, remove itself from Google News, or Facebook, and any of the other discovery mechanisms, and instead wait for consumers to go to them directly. That publishers (for very good reasons) don’t have faith that consumers will do that is the real cause of their economic troubles.

To return to the publishing curve, Google is closer to customers; the only way for publishers to extract the value they think is theirs it to get even closer. And, by extension, demanding the EU intervene will lead to a predictable outcome: Google will simply exit the market taking all of the customers who are quite happy with Google’s discovery functionality with them, leaving publishers with the emptiest of victories…