National Post (National Edition)
Google launches News Showcase in deal with 120 U.K. publishers
LONDON • Google is rolling out its News Showcase tab in the U.K. after striking a landmark deal with more than 120 British publications to pay for news content.
The launch on Wednesday, part of a US$1 billion global investment in newspapers, means publishers will be paid a licensing fee for producing extracts of news that appear in Google News Showcase.
The tool will feature in Google News and Discover feeds on phones operating Android and iOS. Users will see panels from publishers they follow in their personalized feeds, which will then link to articles on publishers’ websites.
The News Showcase service will also offer access to some articles that are behind paywalls in an effort to attract new subscribers.
Publishers that have signed up to the deal include the Telegraph Media Group, Reach, the Independent and the Financial Times. Local paper groups involved include Archant, JPI Media and Newsquest.
It comes as Google faces tough new regulations around the world that could force it to pay publishers for news snippets and links.
In Australia, Google has warned it will pull its Search product from the country entirely after planned legislation threatened to make Google pay for links to news stories that appeared on its tools.
The News Media Bargaining Code was criticized by the search giant for “breaking” how the internet works. It would see Google forced into mandatory arbitration with publishers to agree set fees for showing news stories in Google Search.
Similar proposals are also gaining traction in Europe as politicians try to force Big Tech firms to pay for news. MEPs told the Financial Times new digital markets laws being debated in Europe could also include binding agreements for licensing deals between tech giants and news publishers.
David Bender, head of Google News Showcase, told The Daily Telegraph: “We are not against being regulated by a code of conduct, and frankly we are willing to pay to support journalism.
“But there are several elements of the current proposed Australian law that are just unworkable.”
Bender said the US$1 billion was a “global figure” for the program’s funding, but added “it is our intention to expand that beyond the initial three year time-frame”. He declined to comment on how much was available for U.K. publishers.