Google Bets Big on Digital News

Posted on March 20, 2018 by Mehedi Hassan in Google with 20 Comments

Google is investing big in the digital news industry today. The company is announcing its new Google News Initiative, part of which will involve the company investing $300 million into the industry over the next three years.

The goal of Google News Initiative is to fight fake news and help digital journalism grow. Google says the company is working to fight fake news and the spread of disinformation within its own platform, as well as working with publications like First Draft to fight fake news. Google is also launching a new tool that makes safer for news organizations and journalists to access the internet and protect their privacy.

To further expand its commitment to the industry, Google is launching a new Subscribe with Google program today. The new subscription system will enable news publications to offer simpler subscription systems based on the platform provided by Google. This means publications won’t have to deal with all the problems of setting up payment systems, and they will instead work with Google’s own system, which means the subscription process will be instant for existing Google customers. Subscribing to news sites with Google will also deliver posts and news from your subscription right to your Google News Feed as well.

Google’s huge investment of $300 million is critical for the news industry. With Facebook failing to build a sustainable relationship with publishers because of the recent changes to the News Feed as well as a lot of other recent fumbles and controversies, Google’s new News Initiative could help the company support and possibly dominate the digital news industry. But that all depends upon the publishers, and whether they really want to give Google control over their reader base.

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Comments (20)

20 responses to “Google Bets Big on Digital News”

  1. Nicholas Kathrein

    Google haters will say "The're in everything!" Que the wambulance. I say let the markets do it's thing. If other want in on this then they can produce the tools and let the publishers decide. I'm happy that Google is investing in this. There damned if they do and if they don't.

    • lvthunder

      In reply to Nicholas_Kathrein:

      They are in everything and it's not good. I'm hoping the public will decide you are too big I want to spread my data out to a bunch of companies instead of Google knowing everything about you all the time.

      • Nicholas Kathrein

        In reply to lvthunder:

        I sure don't. I rather have Google know all then a bunch of companies I never heard of and probably have all the security of Equifax. No thanks. I trust Googles security is best in the biz and while they sell ad placement I'm confident that they want to keep that money rolling in so they will continue to no sell the data as it's far more lucrative to do ad placement then selling data.

      • Waethorn

        In reply to lvthunder:

        The public, in general, is stupid. They'll believe what corporations tell them to - like using Facebook in the first place. The "free market" is never decided by the consumers, sad to say.

  2. Waethorn

    Getting into politics will be Google's undoing.

  3. Bats

    Sorry, but Journalism is dead. The people who Google are partnering with are responsible for the fake news. The fake news is all political. How many times did the CNN (Jake Tapper) and the New York Times seriously covered the "Golden Showers" and Donald Trump? The main stream media is so fascinated by the Russian/Trump connection that doesn't even exist.

  4. Maui

    I’ve been trying to make money on forex for years but it’s a waste of time, go to Emini S&P Trading Secret and get into trading the futures. Now I’m making money trading and I’m so happy.

  5. Jeff Jones

    Paul, will be integrating with the Subscribe with Google program?

  6. ben55124

    Now that ads are being replaced by paywalls, someone should make a "reader wallet" where you don't subscribe to sites, but article access payments go from my wallet to the publisher/author. Show a snip and then click to get full article. Would likely take a google/apple/facebook to pull off. I can handle a few subscriptions like thurrott, but can't justify every paywall I come across.

    But stay out of fake news sniffing. Too subjective.

  7. Mark from CO


    I was under the impression that fake news and electronic distribution of news was one and the same. I’m not sure how this benefits journalism or, for that matter, the American citizen. As we’ve seen in the past, there is real risk when the distribution of news is concentrated into one, two or three outlets. 

    And given Google’s reputation, I think this this risk is even greater. Are we confident that Google will be even handed when selecting new sources that it includes in its service? I agree with lvthunder’s comment below, what basis is there to believe that Google (or Apple, or Facebook) will be neutral in what they publish? Their past, and statements made by their executives, make me very leery that these type of services will be truly objective.

    Mark from CO

  8. Daekar

    This is like a wet dream for a Technocracy ruling class that seems determined to stamp out any meaningful intellectual diversity wherever it may hide. I hope the publishers suddenly grow a pair and tell Google to pound sand, having learned their lesson from the music industry and the iTunes/mp3 problem a few years ago. So dangerous to give one company so much control over so many things.

  9. Waethorn

    Time to get out, methinks. I've been with them for about 2.5yrs, mostly away from Microsoft due to Windows 10 getting worse and worse as a productive platform.

    I like their software, but this is getting to be too much. This, and Facebook (which I have never signed up for), are going to drive people towards more conservative Internet use and methods of communication by way of smaller community systems, and these companies only have themselves to blame for their own losses.

  10. lvthunder

    Notice how in the video at least all the US journalism sources are liberal. Hopefully Google doesn't get involved with the content, but just provides the backend services.

    It's also interesting that Apple has gotten into this a bit as well with the acquisition of Texture the digital magazine service.

  11. Payton

    I am so encouraged that a company that already skews its search results (including completely hiding shopping results for certain gun-related terms recently) according to its political philosophy is going to be curating the news...

  12. Stooks

    Would you seriously trust Google, Facebook or Amazon with curating your news????????????

    These are the 3 big companies that are collecting every single scrap of information they can on every person on the planet if they can to use it to their advantage. Facebook and Google have been busted multiple times for privacy problems around the globe. Amazon bought a dying news paper (Washington Post) and runs it at a loss to push out Jeff Bezos propaganda/agenda.

    This for me is DOA and I will NEVER touch it.

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