Under pressure, Google to pay some outlets for news content
Google announced plans to pay some news organizations for content in a departure from its past practice following pressure from governments and media groups around the world.
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, AFP reported.
Google said it would pay media partners in three countries and cover the costs of paywalled news sites to give users free access to a dedicated news app.
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,” Bender said.
The move comes with many news organizations struggling with declining print readership and challenged by the digital ecosystem where ad revenue is dominated by Google and Facebook.
Google has been accused of siphoning off online revenue and has faced legal battles in France and Australia over its refusal to pay news organizations for content.
The California giant has countered that it helps drive traffic and revenue to online news sites. It has also announced several efforts to aid journalism through its Google News Initiative.
The Google move comes after Facebook said last year it would create a “news tab” in partnership with media groups to promote journalism and stem the flow of misinformation.
Apple launched its news app in 2015 which helps promote media subscriptions and in 2019 added a paid service called Apple News+ which shares revenue with newspaper and magazine publishers.
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