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Google to pay publishers under a new licence programme

Google to pay publishers under a new licence programme

Google to pay publishers under a new licence programme
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By Palak Agarwal  Jun 25, 2020 5:41:43 PM IST (Published)

Google is launching a new licensing programme that will help news media monetise their content. The programme, to be launched later this year, will pay publishers for high-quality content for a new news experience.

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“For decades we have worked with publishers to grow audiences and build value. We continue that progress today with the introduction of a licensing program to pay publishers for high-quality content," Google CEO Sundar Pichai said in a tweet.
"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. We will start with publishers in a number of countries around the globe, with more to come soon," Google News Vice President of product management Brad Bender said in a blog post.
The new product will launch first on Google News and Discover. To begin with, Google has signed partnerships with local and national publications in Germany, Australia and Brazil and will soon expand to other countries.
The initial participants include Germany’s SPIEGEL Group, Australian news titles including InQueensland and InDaily in South Australia, Brazilian regional media company Diarios Associados.
"We are always keen to explore innovative ways to attract readers to our high-quality content,” said Stefan Ottlitz, managing director of Germany’s SPIEGEL Group.
“This interesting new partnership with Google will allow us to curate an experience that will bring our award-winning editorial voice into play, broaden our outreach and provide trusted news in a compelling way across Google products,” Ottlitz said.
Google will also offer to pay for free access for users to read paywalled articles on a publisher’s site. This will let paywalled publishers grow their audiences and open an opportunity for people to read content they might not ordinarily see.
The move comes after the continuous tug of war between media companies and digital platforms like Google and Facebook where media publishers want them to pay for the content they use. Google has spent years fighting publishers and regulators over whether or not it should pay for content displayed in Google News.
The Australian government is now working on a mandatory code to address power imbalances between news media publishers and digital platforms such as Facebook and Google -- public broadcasters ABC and SBS both want direct payments from Google and Facebook for using their content.
Until recently, Facebook and Google have refused to accept they needed to pay for using news content. France's competition authority in April ordered Google to pay French publishers for using their content.
With Facebook-Google duopoly dominating the online advertising landscape, news publishers say they find it difficult to keep their business afloat,  especially during difficult times such as the ongoing pandemic.
The COVID-19 pandemic has put a lot of pressure on news organizations as advertisers cut down on spends. This has resulted in desperate companies resorting to layoffs, furloughs and closures.
In 2018, Google launched the Google News Initiative with a $300 million commitment. More recently, it launched a Journalism Emergency Relief Fund, and a $15 million Support Local News Campaign to help ‘alleviate some immediate economic constraints’.
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