Google to remunerate publishers for news

Google to remunerate publishers for news

NEWS Highlights

  • The News Media Alliance, a consortium of US publishers, said in a 2019 study that Google made $4.7 billion off the news industry
  • Google has long tussled with publishers over how it displays their content
  • The company announced several new licensing deals with publishers in Germany, Australia and Brazil 
  • Google will soon begin paying publishers to allow readers free access to articles behind a paywall.
  • Google will focus on "high-quality content
  • Journalism competition and preservation act will allow publishers to negotiate collectively with Google, Facebook

|Google announced plans Thursday to pay some news organizations for content in a stepped-up effort to aid the struggling sector following pressure from governments and media groups around the world.

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While details of the plan were not known, the move could represent a significant shift by the internet giant and follows initiatives by Facebook and Apple to create news products in partnership with media outlets.

"This program 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,
Brad Bender, Google's VP Product Management for News

The program will begin with “local and national publications in Germany, Australia and Brazil” and is set to expand to more countries soon, the tech giant said.

“A vibrant news industry matters — perhaps now more than ever, as people look for information they can count on in the midst of a global pandemic and growing concerns about racial injustice around the world,” said Brad Bender, Google’s vice president for news product management.

Google intends to pay for “high-quality content for a new news experience launching later this year” to allow media groups to “monetize their content through an enhanced storytelling experience,” Bender said.

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Google made $4.7 billion off the news industry - The News Media Alliance claims

Local news are under stress

The move comes with legacy news organizations struggling with declining print readership and challenged by the digital ecosystem where ad revenue is dominated by tech platforms such as Google and Facebook.

With local news under stress, finding new channels and new audiences for our premium content, in safe and curated environments, is a high priority," Paul Hamra, Solstice Media.

Google has long tussled with publishers over how it displays their content, with media companies arguing the search giant should pay them for the privilege. The News Media Alliance, a consortium of US publishers, said in a 2019 study that Google made $4.7 billion off the news industry the previous year, a figure Google has disputed.

What are the speculations
The announcement “is vague and confusing”  and has left media houses in a quagmire.

 

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“It is a step in the right direction, but only a quite small one,”

 David Chavern, president of the News Media Alliance

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 “It fits into a strategy of divide and conquer, Google’s goal is not to remunerate everyone else.”

Nikos Smyrnaios, a media professor at the University of Toulouse in France

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 “Sounds like Google will pick the winners. Is that really what you wanted, journalists?”

Dan Gillmor, Arizona State University professor, on Twitter:

Who are the beneficiaries?

Google said it would pay media partners in three countries and cover the costs of pay-walled news sites to give users free access to a dedicated news app.

The tech company is talking to publishers in another handful of countries and expects to add to its list in the coming months.

The publishers with the first deals include Australian companies Schwartz Media, The Conversation and Solstice Media; Brazil's Diarios Associados and A Gazeta; and Germany's Der Spiegel, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Die Zeit and Rheinische Post.

Google will focus on "high-quality content," Brad Bender, Google's VP Product Management for News said in a blog post.
 
 Featured Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters