BBC NEWS | Technology | Google addresses newspaper woes
The majority of newspapers should be online, says Google boss Eric Schmidt, amid criticism it should share some of the millions it makes from newslinks.
Media owner Rupert Murdoch has questioned if aggregators like Google should pay to use content.
The Associated Press is to sue to protect its content at a time when the industry is losing readers to the web.
"I would encourage everybody to think in terms of what your reader wants," Mr Schmidt told newspaper bosses.
"These are ultimately consumer businesses and if you piss off enough of them, you will not have any more," he warned the Newspaper Association of America's (NAA) annual conference in San Diego.
While he praised the way newspapers initially embraced the internet, Mr Schmidt said they had since dropped the ball allowing the likes of Google to take over content distribution.
"There wasn't an act after that. You guys did a superb job, and the act after that is a harder question."