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Google To Pay Out $1B To Publishers To License Content For New Google News Showcase

Google would soon commence the payment of select media providers to help in the display of arranged content on its news app having reached a compromise with the industry after the search engine alongside other tech giants was accused of unjustly using content for years.

A sum of over $1B has been kept by the company to cover the initial three years of the program. Google said in a statement that the program will extend beyond that and the company would pay publishers to provide articles for the news app and also give readers access to some paywalled articles for free.

The Google News Showcase product, which was launched earlier this month in Brazil and Germany, will showcase branded story panels compiled by partner publishers. Google said that it will allow the publishers to highlight content using bullets, timelines, and related news articles. 

Google and Facebook Inc. have been the subjects of heavy criticism around the world by news reporters and regulators and have demanded that the companies pay for the rights to host news articles.

The news executives argued that they have been the cause of the attention the news sites have been receiving due to their awesome journalism. They further stated that the two tech giants have been making money off them without paying them for their top-notch content.

Brad Bender, one of Google’s vice presidents, in a call with several journalists said that Google News Showcase will enable publishers to curate stories on important news, deepen relationships with readers while providing a new stream of income for reporters. 

Reports from Google show that as of now, over 200 publications in Brazil, Argentina, Canada, Germany, the UK, and Australia have signed up to the news program, and will extend to other markets soon.

The funding will, however, not cover all news organizations simply because not all publishers provide the necessary content and volume for the product.

The partnership will be done based on the market. Google wants to focus on sources and newspapers already with enough audiences not excluding important local and regional news outlets. A flat fee over a while will be the licensing fee and can be negotiated depending on the amount of content provided.

Stefan Ottlitz, head of product development at Der Spiegel, stated via an email that this new development shows that Google is ready to support quality journalism in Germany. However, not all publishers seem to be impressed.

Angela Mills Wade, Executive Director of the European Publishers Council, stated that while Google claims to help in the funding of news production, it can dictate terms and conditions, and bypass laws created to aid a fair negotiation.

Google’s News Showcase has been launched on its Android app and will be launched later on iOS, Discover, and search services. Google has assured publishers that there will be no bias in the ranking and display of content in the app or search results.

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