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Google to pay news publishers for their content

...It's a $1 billion commitment in the next three years


Google has made its first serious attempt in compensating publishers for their hard work. In a recent blog post, Google and Alphabet’s CEO Sundar Pichai announced their plans to pay publishers an initial investment of $1 billion in the next three years for their news. In other words, Google will pay publishers to license their content on its platform.

The commitment is under a new program called Google News Showcase.

“This financial commitment—our biggest to date—will pay publishers to create and curate high-quality content for a different kind of online news experience,” Pichai said. He claims Google News Showcase will be beneficial not only to publishers but to readers as well.

Unlike other products launched prior, publishers will have the power to select which stories are shown to readers and how they are presented.

For instance, participating publishers will curate leverage available features like timelines, bullets, and related articles to package their stories the way they like. In the future, the product will also let publishers add video, audio, and daily briefings.

“This approach is distinct from our other news products because it leans on the editorial choices individual publishers make about which stories to show readers and how to present them,” Pichai said.

This way, Google hopes that publishers can be able to form deeper connections with readers.

News Showcase will first launch inside Google News on Android, followed by iOS shortly after. In the future, Google has plans to introduce News Showcase in Discover and Search.

To take the project off the ground, Google News Showcase has already partnered with almost 200 publishers across Germany, Brazil, Argentina, Canada, the U.K., and Australia with more countries to follow. The next countries in the launch pipeline include India, Belgium, and the Netherlands.

Ramped-up commitment

In the past, Google has slowly been committing to pay news publishers for their services. One of the most substantial commitment is the $300 million Google News Initiative aimed at helping the news industry.

Google also sees the 24 billion months visits it sends to websites across the web as a way to support the industry.

The latest commitment comes amid escalated fights from media publishers for Google to pay for their content.  European media publishers have been on the frontline on this, followed by the Australian government. Australia wants Google and Facebook to share advertising revenue with publishers.

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Alvin Wanjala

Alvin is a freelance tech journalist. Talk to me via email at alvinwanjala[at]pm[dot]me

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