Thursday 25 June 2020 1:32 pm

Google to pay select publishers for news content

Google will begin paying some publishers for their news content, after regulators threatened to force the tech giant to share the revenue it receives from articles.

Google’s vice president for news Brad Bender said it would start paying some publishers in Germany, Australia and Brazil for “high-quality content”, with talks continuing regarding licences in six more countries.

“Today, we are announcing a licensing programme to pay publishers for high-quality content for a news experience launching later this year,” Bender said in a blog post.

“We will start with publishers in a number of countries around the globe, with more to come soon,” he said.

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Google has tried for several years to fend off media groups claiming it is unfair that the company does not pay them to use their content in features such as Google News and Discover, despite making money from the venture.

Bender said Google would also offer to pay for free access on behalf of users to read articles behind a paywall on a publisher’s site, where available.

Those included in the first round of the deal include 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 announcement follows a ruling by France’s competition watchdog in April that ordered Google to pay French publishers for using their content.

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Australia has also previously said it would force Google and Facebook to share advertising sales with local media groups.

Bender added: “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. But these events are happening at a time when the news industry is also being challenged financially.”

“Alongside other companies, governments and civic society organisations, we’re committed to playing our part to support news businesses. Today’s undertaking exemplifies that, and we look forward to what we can all achieve together.”