Google to pay out $1B to publishers to license content for new Google News Showcase – ProWellTech

Google to pay out $1B to publishers to license content for new Google News Showcase – ProWellTech

Google has long had an enemy position with respect to the news world: it can drive a lot of traffic to online publishers, but only if people bother clicking on links after getting the gist of the story from Google itself (and that’s first considering the ‘Google AMP approach on mobile devices that keeps users on Google URLs after clicking). Publications built around advertising have felt indebted to the search and advertising giant, leading those who have survived over the years to try to forge alternative revenue models around paid content, events and more to offset that addiction. .

Now Google offers another, complementary option to these publishers, or at least some of them.

Today the company unveiled its latest effort to regain more credibility in the news publishing world by launching the Google News Showcase. Sundar Pichai, CEO of the search giant, said in a blog post that he would collectively pay news publishers about $ 1 billion in licensing fees “to create and curate high-quality content” for the new story panels that will appear on Google News. Initially, these will appear on Android devices and eventually also on Google News on iOS.

The new initiative will go live today, after being initially unveiled by Google in outline earlier this summer.

According to Pichai, Google News Showcase will launch first in Germany and Brazil before expanding to other markets. The company has already signed agreements with 200 publications in Germany, Brazil, Argentina, Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia. The first publications to be launched will be Der Spiegel, Stern, Die Zeit, Folha de S.Paulo, Band, Infobae, El Litoral, GZH, WAZ and SooToday. India, Belgium and the Netherlands will be next on the list for expansions after the other countries are released, Pichai said.

As you can see here, Google News Showcase seems to focus primarily on how news is consumed on mobile devices rather than desktop computers.

Like Apple with its efforts around Apple News, as the leading mobile platform operator Google has worked on a number of ways to play well with publishers and the news publishing industry over the years, some on their own. and others in response to external pressures.

They included funding local news research initiatives; its $ 300 million news initiative that includes grants to journalists and magazines, as well as research; emergency grants for hot water publications; and build tools to help journalists do their jobs.

Choosing Germany as one of the first markets to launch it is noteworthy, as the country’s publishers have been involved in a years-long lawsuit over copyright charges related to how their content has been reused in Google.

Google eventually won that case in court, but it probably didn’t win in the court of public opinion. As Google continues to face many antitrust checks in Europe and elsewhere, it is important that it works (or at least appears to work!) To rehabilitate its image of being too powerful and uninterested in the fate of the institutions that are central to how democratic society it works – like free press.

As Pichai notes, this latest effort is different from the one Google created before because it relies on publishers doing the curating and creating themselves.

Google is infamous for starting many projects, implementing them and then abandoning them when they fail to gain market traction. With this understanding, and knowing that it is one of the largest companies in the world (not just in the field of technology), she has theoretically committed to the Showcase for three years, but Pichai said the plan is to “extend beyond three initial years, “with the company” focused on contributing to the overall sustainability of our journalistic partners around the world. “

It is unclear how much money individual publishers will make from this initiative, now how or if it could be used to promote business models that don’t involve Google in the action. The latter has been the center of attention of many publishers in recent years. At best, similar to Apple News, it could help publishers hedge their bets or even tighten them (as is the case with paywalls and get people to use them), rather than cannibalizing those other efforts. Google, at least, seems aware of the stakes and seems to argue that’s not the only reason publishers are feeling the heat.

“The business model for newspapers, based on advertising and subscription revenue, has evolved for over a century as audiences have turned to other news sources, including radio, television and, subsequently, the proliferation of television via cable and satellite radio, ”Pichai wrote. “The internet was the last change and it certainly won’t be the last. Together with other companies, governments and civil society, we want to do our part by helping journalism in the 21st century not only survive, but thrive. “

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