Google states it will pay some publishers for news articles
Google will pay for news content from preferred publishers as a component of a new licensing program announced on Thursday.
It tells the content will form part of a “new news experience” coming later this year, beginning first on its Google News and Discover services. In some cases, Google states it could offer free access to paywalled articles by rewarding content owners on the user’s behalf.
Google will pay partnered media publishers in three countries and allow some users free access to paywalled news sites, the tech giant announced on Thursday.
The announcement arrives after legal battles in France and Australia over Google’s refusal to pay news organizations for content.
Google states it’s beginning the program with publishers in Germany, Australia, and Brazil, but says that it’s got “more to come soon.” Publishing partners include Der Spiegel in Germany, and Schwartz Media in Australia, according to the Financial Times.
Brad Bender, Google’s vice-president of product management, told they had been in talks with partnered publishers—including the Spiegel Group in Germany, Schwartz media in Australia, and Brazil’s Diarios Associados—for several months, “with more to come.”
“Google will also allow paying for free access for users to read paywalled articles on a publisher’s site,” the statement said, without offering any further details.
Bender said the program would benefit publishers “monetize their content through an enhanced storytelling experience.”
Google’s announcement occurs after multiple countries have moved up efforts to have the search giant compensate publishers for the news content it links to. Australia recently revealed plans to force tech platforms to assist pay for the free content they profit from. In April, France’s competition authority directed Google to pay for content from French publishers.
Google’s decision appears as Facebook has just begun a new news tab in the US in which it gives some participating publishers for their work.
A team of human editors curates stories, and publishing associates include BuzzFeed, the New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal. Facebook is reportedly contemplating to increase this news tab to Europe.
However, the FT notes that such plans have been criticized for only introducing some publishers and for not paying enough. Some would reportedly favor legal backing to such leads, rather than relying on the goodwill of large tech firms.
In comments published by Google, Spiegel Group managing director Stefan Ottlitz stated its partnership with Google “will allow us to curate an experience that will bring our award-winning editorial voice into play, broaden our outreach, and present trusted news in a compelling way across Google products.” The FT notes that Google’s announcement did not reveal the financial terms of its deals.