Google has bowed to global pressure from regulators and lawmakers and agreed to pay some publishers for news content in a major strategic shift by the search advertising giant.
The $US978 billion ($1.4 trillion) company, which has long resisted paying publishers for news, announced a new licensing program in a blog post late yesterday afternoon and revealed it had signed partnerships with publishers in Germany , Brazil and Australia.
‘‘ Today, we are announcing a licensing program to pay publishers for high-quality content for a new news experience launching later this year,’’ Google News’ vice president of product management Brad Bender said. ‘‘ Where available, 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.’’
Industry sources said the search giant was in advanced talks with Antony Catalano’s Australian Community Media, which owns more than 100 regional titles, while Schwartz Media, publisher of The Saturday Paper, Private Media, publisher of Crikey, Solstice Media’s InDaily and InQueensland have signed deals with the company.
Specific details of how the program will work have not been disclosed , but the decision to license content is a strong pivot away from Google’s public stance on the value news brings to its search engine. Google closed its news service in Spain in 2014 after legislation was introduced requiring it to pay publishers . When France attempted to make Google pay for publishers content last year, the tech giant said it would change the way articles appear in search results.
The change in stance from Google comes as Australia’s competition regulator prepares to announce a compulsory code that will force the tech giants to pay local publishers for the use of news content.
Google Australia’s boss Melanie Silva has been vocal about the tech giant’s refusal to pay for content and has argued that news adds little value to the platform.
Google to pay publishers under new licensing deal
by Zoe Samios | The Age Digital Edition
This article is from the June 26 issue of The Age Digital Edition.
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