Google Extends an Olive Branch to News Organizations

Posted on June 25, 2020 by Paul Thurrott in Cloud, Google with 4 Comments

Under fire for scraping stories from news organizations and republishing them in its own service, Google now says it will pay for news.

“A vibrant news industry matters, perhaps now more than ever, as people look for information they can count on in the midst of a global pandemic and growing concerns about racial injustice around the world,” Google’ Brad Bender writes. “But these events are happening at a time when the news industry is also being challenged financially. We care deeply about providing access to information and supporting the publishers who report on these important topics.”

Google is creating a new licensing program by which it will pay news organizations for “high-quality content” that will appear in a new news experience that it will launch later this year. This suggests that Google will soon offer a paid, premium version of Google News that is similar to Apple’s News+ offering. The firm says it has already made partnerships with local and national publications in Germany, Australia[,] and Brazil, and is working towards many more around the globe.

When possible, Google says it will also offer to pay for free access for users to read paywalled articles on publishers’ sites, paving the way for subscription news services like The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times to participate. “This will let paywalled publishers grow their audiences and open an opportunity for people to read content they might not ordinarily see,” the firm says.

“We’re committed to playing our part to support news businesses,” Bender concludes. “Today’s undertaking exemplifies that, and we look forward to what we can all achieve together.”

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Comments (5)

5 responses to “Google Extends an Olive Branch to News Organizations”

  1. Pungkuss

    This is 100% a shake down. Web Browsers scrape the web, its what they do. Its super easy to flip a toggle on your news site and search engines will leave it alone. Google offered to drop the news product in the country. Not only were they told that they couldn't drop news, but they also have to pay for something that they don't want. I can't believe the shake down.

  2. red.radar

    Cynic in me says this is so that Google can control what it's users see.

    We need to revisit the safe harbor protections platform companies enjoy. They are no longer neutral

    But.... if it can moderate sensational headlines and tone down some of the click bait maybe its not all bad. I am not very trustful that google will have altruist motives. I see what they are doing on Youtube and the organizations that naturally get favored placement for COVID - 19 information. Instead of linking direct to the unedited press conference they link to the spin version.

  3. dftf

    If I recall correct, I think Google News is already not available in Spain due to legal contentions.

    I'm puzzled though what they mean by "republishing them in its own service" -- it shows you the headline, and a short summary (perhaps the first sentance-or-two) and to read it fully, you have to click to go to the webpage of the story, which then means you're on their site, seeing their ads (well, if you're not using an ad-block or have made an exception, that is).

    So... I'm guessing the only issue here is the "AMP" version of pages Google renders itself? Otherwise, I fail to see how what Google does is any different from how the major news-companies themselves publish links to their stories on their Twitter and Facebook pages. Surely the same thing, essentially?

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