Google News agrees to pay publishers more than $ 1 billion

The tech giant has signed licensing deals with around 200 publications in select countries to expand geographically further.

Google, along with Facebook, controls a large part of the advertising industry that once went to publishers in the news industry. The reduced advertising revenue has led to a shortage of small newsrooms and resources to tell local news. Spending billions of dollars on licensing news is Google’s way of showing publishers committed to paying for high-quality journalism and maintaining a struggling industry.

The licensing deals, previously announced in June, are part of a new product called News Showcase, where participating publishers can decide for themselves how to present their content on the platform. The content is displayed as a “story panel” and publishers can tease the story and encourage viewers to click on their site so they can click on their site to read more. Google will pay some publishers to make free articles available to non-subscribers for free.

From Thursday, Google users in Brazil and Germany can use this feature. At the time of launch, the news showcase will only be available in the Google News app on Android. But it will soon be coming to the iOS app and will later expand to the Google Discover app and Google search.

“It’s clear that the newspaper industry has long faced economic challenges,” said Brad Bender, Google’s vice president of product management for the news. “I think that many of us in the ecosystem want to step up and enable a better future for news. It’s a huge investment, our biggest investment today, but it’s really with our industry Creates 20 years of effort. “

Paying publishers to display their content has long been a source of tension between media companies and tech platforms. Facebook aired licensing deals with news outlets including The New York Times and Dow Jones last year when it launched Facebook News.
Google is colliding with Australian regulators over legislation that would allow publishers to negotiate compensation for their content. In fact, Australia was one of the first countries in which Google began signing licensing deals with publishers, but the company has since stopped the program.

“While our concerns about the code are serious, we believe they can be resolved and hope to bring the news showcase to Australia soon, as we believe will help program publishers grow their audience And will contribute towards the overall sustainability of our Australian news partners ”Google Australia and New Zealand Managing Director Mel Silva said in a statement.

For the news showcase, Google has contracts with publications in Germany, Brazil, Argentina, Canada, United Kingdom and Australia. Participating publishers include the German magazine Der Spiegel, the Brazilian daily newspaper Folha de S. Paulo, and the Canadian media company Village Media.

Google declined to say when it would launch with American publishers.

The payment each publisher receives depends on what and how much they are offering. In the future, Google will incorporate publishers and video and audio, not just images and text, news showcases.

Bender said Google’s new product is called a news showcase because the publisher will “show their journalism and their perspective of what’s important”.

“Depending on the story and how they want to tell it, participating publishers can choose the best blueprint to make the best of their journalism and tell the stories the way they want to.” “This additional context for users not only helps users better understand the story, but also helps them to know the editorial and preferences of the publisher.”

Bender said that Google plans to move beyond a three-year commitment and therefore invest more than the planned $ 1 billion.

Haddes Gould and Michelle Toph contributed to this report.


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