Marketing 2 min read

Google Agrees to pay Some Outlet for News Content

elenabsl / Shutterstock.com

elenabsl / Shutterstock.com

After much pressure from governments and media groups across the world, Google has finally agreed to pay some news outlets for content.

Publishers have always sought laws requiring Google to pay for displaying their news content. And that’s not surprising.

The search engine includes news snippets in search result all the time. According to a 2019 report from News Media Alliance, Google made $4.7 billion off the news industry in the previous year.

Not only did Google dispute this figure, but the tech company has also resisted calls to pay publishers for displaying their content.

For example, rather than pay French publishers for using their news content for snippets, the company removed snippets altogether. Instead, it started displaying only headlines in search results.

Similarly, Google rejected Australian news publishers’ demand to pay millions in compensation for using content from local media.

Now, the search giant seems to have changed its mind concerning the matter.

Yesterday, Google announced several new licensing deals with publishers in Australia, Brazil, and Germany. In other words, the company would begin paying for high-quality news content.

In a blog post announcement, Vice President of Product Management, News at Google, Brad Bendersaid:

“Today, we are announcing a licensing program to pay publishers for high-quality content for a new news experience launching later this year.

But why now?

Demand for News Content and COVID-19 Pandemic

The demand for news content has increased since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic earlier in the year. More people relied on online news outlets and search engines for information about diseases.

At the same time, ad revenues have declined significantly due to the economic crisis that followed. As a result, more publishers are making a shift from advertising towards subscription revenue.

Besides, Google has been investing to support journalism during COVID-19.

In April, the company introduced a journalism relief fund for news organizations that produce original content for local communities. Google also announced that it was waiving ad fees for news publishers.

Currently, The licensing deals are with news publishers in Germany, Australia, and Brazil. But, it could become a global program that extends to the United States.

It’s also unclear if this will be a significant source of revenue for publishers. We’ll know more when the program rolls out later in the year.

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