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Google looks to monetize AI with two new $10 Workspace add-ons

The jury is still out on how much AI increases individual productivity, but companies are now trying to monetize it as they build more advanced AI features into their software. Last year, Microsoft made waves when it announced Copilot would add $30 per user per month to the price of an Office 365 subscription. But these features are costly to create and run, and customers will have to absorb some of that cost.

At Google Cloud Next, Google followed Microsoft’s monetization lead, announcing a pair of $10/month/user add-on packages for the Google Workspace productivity suite.

Image Credits: Frederic Lardinois/TechCrunch

For starters, the new AI meetings and messaging add-on takes notes for you, provides meeting summaries and translates content into 69 languages. “We’re adding 52 new languages — including Filipino, Korean, you name it — to translate for Meet. Now this brings the total number of languages we support to 69,” Aparna Pappu, VP & GM at Google Workspace said.

The company also introduced an AI security package, which helps admins keep Google Workspace content more secure, including the ability to classify and protect files with certain sensitive characteristics. The add-on can also help protect information that is supposed to be kept private and apply data loss prevention controls that can be tuned to the specific requirements of individual organizations.

Image Credits: Frederic Lardinois/TechCrunch

While $10 per user might feel a bit steep, especially given the price of Workspace without these additional features, they do appear to be in line with the cost of similar features from third-party services. For customers who may not want these add-ons for every user, Google says that they can mix and match license types and apply the advanced features where they would be most useful.

It’s also worth noting that Google is planning additional enhancements for the meeting add-on, including generative AI custom backgrounds, which lets users describe a background and the AI creates it for you, as well as studio quality lighting, video quality and sound, which uses AI to provide professional quality meetings, among other new features in the works. These features will be coming in the next couple of months, according to the company.

The two add-ons are now available to Workspace subscribers.

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