Google to start paying media for news content

Area: General News | 06/29/2020 |


The company, which is facing lawsuits in several countries from publishing companies, announced that the program will help the media "monetize its content."

Google announced Thursday that it is willing to pay news companies in three countries, including Brazil, in order to help a sector that is struggling under pressure from governments and media groups around the world.

Although the details of the plan are not known, the measure may represent a significant change by the internet giant that would follow the path started by Facebook and Apple, with the creation of newscast products in association with the media.

Google said it will pay media partners in three countries and cover the costs of paid news sites to give users free access.

The program will begin "with local and national publications in Germany, Australia and Brazil" and is slate to expand to more countries, Google announced.

"A vibrant news industry is important, perhaps now more than ever, as people search for information they can count on amid a global pandemic and growing concern about racial injustice around the world," said Bran Bender, Vice President of news product management at Google.
Google intends to pay for "high-quality content for an innovative news experience to be launched later this year," to allow media groups to "monetize their content through an enhanced storytelling experience." Bender said.

The movement echoes the problems of news organizations that fight against the decrease in readership of the written press and face the challenge of the new digital ecosystem, where advertising revenue is focused on technology platforms such as Google and Facebook.

Google has been accused of diverting online revenue and its announcement comes after facing legal battles in France and Australia over its reluctance to pay the media for what it publishes on the web.
The Californian giant has responded to criticism by saying it helps drive traffic and revenue for online news sites and has pushed the Google News initiative to collaborate with journalists.

Google's plan to pay to publish news precedes Facebook's initiative to create a "news tab" in association with media groups to promote journalism and curb fake news.

Apple launched its news app in 2015, which aims to promote media subscription, and in 2019 added a paid service called Apple News + that shares revenue with newspaper and magazine publishers.
Google's announcement did not clarify what impact the initiative would have or how much money will be invested in the plan. David Chavern, president of the News Media Alliance, which represents the US news industry, said the announcement is "vague and confusing" and may have been intended to help Google negotiate its legal battles with the media.

"It is a step in the right direction, but a fairly small one," he said.

The move "could translate into increased revenue for a small number of big publishers in big markets and very little for small publishers and publishers in small markets," said Rasmus Kleis Nielsen, who heads the Reuters Institute at the University of Oxford for the study of journalism, on Twitter.

Nikos Smyrnaois, a professor of media at the University of Toulouse in France, said Google's announcement marks a "tipping point" but may not help a sector in conflict.

"It fits into a divide and conquer strategy," Smyrnaois said. "Google's goal is not to remunerate everyone else," he added.

Dan Gillmor, a professor at Arizona State University, said on Twitter: "It looks like Google will choose the winners. Is that what you really wanted, journalists? Numerous publications from Europe and the world called on the European Union to take steps to compel Internet companies to pay them for the publication of the material they produce.

Y a comienzos de este mes, Google rechazó una orden de Australia de compensar con cientos de millones de dólares anuales a medios locales de noticias impuesta en un acuerdo de reparto de ingresos.

In April, the French body that monitors competition in markets said Google should start paying the media for showing their content and ordered it to start negotiations after refusing to adapt to new European rules on digital intellectual property.

And earlier this month, Google rejected an Australian order to compensate local news media with hundreds of millions of dollars a year imposed in a revenue-sharing agreement.


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