The tech company indicated that it would help publishers for ‘high-quality content’ a program that will also see it pay for free access to some paywalled content.
Brad Bender, Google’s vice president of product management, revealed in a blog postthat the licensing program to support the news industry will “help participating publishers monetize their content through an enhanced storytelling experience that lets people go deeper into more complex stories, stay informed and be exposed to a world of different issues and interests. We will start with publishers in a number of countries around the globe, with more to come soon” The countries include Australia, Brazil, and Germany.
The program will launch first on Google News and Discover; the company has also indicated that it is in talks with more partners with the intention of signing more in the coming weeks. The publishers identified for the pilot program include; Der Spiegel, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Die Zeit and Rheinische Post in Germany, Schwartz Media, The Conversation and Solstice Media from Australia and Brazil’s Diarios Associados and A Gazeta, Reuters reports
Google’s decision is expected to help ease tensions between itself and content publishers, including media companies, who have taken issue with the company for using their content without monetary compensation as digital advertising revenues plunge. There have been calls for Google to pay to license content, including from elected officials and media critics, especially in Europe.
Reuters reports that France’s competition authority in April ordered Google to pay French publishers for using their content while Australia said it would force the company and Facebook to share advertising revenue with local media groups.
Last year Facebook which has also been at odds with publishers, launched the Facebook News tab in the US and was offering to pay some publishers for their work, providing a much-welcomed revenue stream. In March, the company committed a $100m fund to struggling news outlets during the coronavirus crisis.
On the other hand, Google launched initiatives such as the Google News Lab and Google News Training Initiative to boost news organizations and help in optimizing revenues.
Publishers have borne the brunt of tough economic times and recorded low revenues. In contrast, the tech-giants record profits, companies such as Google and Facebook have been accused of breaking their promises to the publishers.
The latest move by Google is seen as a positive step towards more cordial engagements between the two parties.
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