Google to pay some publishers for news content

BRUSSELS • Alphabet's Google yesterday took a step to resolving its spat with publishers, saying it would pay some media groups in Australia, Brazil and Germany for high-quality content and expects to do more deals with others.

The American Internet giant has for years tried to fend off demands for payment from news publishers worldwide in return for using their content, with European media groups among the fiercest critics.

"Today, we are announcing a licensing programme to pay publishers for high-quality content for a news experience launching later this year," Mr Brad Bender, Google's vice-president for news, said in a blog post. "We will start with publishers in a number of countries around the globe, with more to come soon."

He added: "This programme will help participating publishers monetise 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."

The new product will be available on Google News and Discover. Google did not disclose the financial terms or when the new service will start.

Mr Bender said Google would also offer to pay for free access for users to read paywalled articles on a publisher's site.

Publishers that will be paid for their content are Germany's Der Spiegel, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Die Zeit and Rheinische Post, Australian groups Schwartz Media, The Conversation and Solstice Media, and Brazil's Diarios Associados and A Gazeta. The three countries are where Google has faced competition complaints.

Australia had earlier said it would force the company and Facebook to share advertising revenue with local media groups. Elsewhere, France's competition authority in April ordered Google to pay French publishers for using their content.

Facebook, Google's chief rival in digital ads, has also taken steps to respond to criticism from publishers. The company said in October it would start paying publishers appearing in a News section on the social network.

REUTERS, BLOOMBERG

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 26, 2020, with the headline 'Google to pay some publishers for news content'. Print Edition | Subscribe