Google to invest fresh $1bn in pacts with global news partners

*The financial commitment will pay publishers to create, curate high-quality content for a different kind of online news experience, says CEO Sundar Pichai

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

Foremost global search engine Google plans to invest $1billion in its partnerships with news publishers worldwide to develop a “Showcase” app.

Sundar Pichai, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Google, who disclosed this in a statement Thursday, October 1, stated that the app is to highlight the partners’ reporting packages.

Pichia said: “This financial commitment, our biggest to date, will pay publishers to create and curate high-quality content for a different kind of online news experience.”

It was learnt the tech giant had locked horns with publishers repeatedly in recent years over its reluctance to pay for displaying articles, videos and other content in its search results.

The fad of displaying Web content is said to have become a vital path for reaching viewers globally as print subscriptions fade in recent times.
At present, Google is reportedly in a standoff with several European media groups, including Agence France-Presse (AFP), over its refusal to comply with a new European Union (EU) law governing digital copyrights.

The United States-based tech giant says it should not have to pay to display pictures, videos or text snippets alongside search results, saying it drives hundreds of millions of visits to publishers’ Web sites each month.

Google as well points to millions of Euros invested to support media groups in other ways, including emergency funding during the COVID-19 crisis.

The company has already signed up almost 200 publications in several countries, including Der Spiegel in Germany and Brazil’s Folha de S. Paulo, but the list lacked any from the United States or France, said CEO.

According to Pichai, Google News Showcase will highlight “the editorial curation of award-winning newsrooms to give readers more insight into the stories that matter, and in the process, helps publishers develop deeper relationships with their audiences.”

ConsumerConnect reports that the new product is would be “available first on Google News via its Android platform and later on Apple’s iOS,” and eventually be added to search results and Google’s Discover feed of tailored content for users.

The CEO stated that “it will start rolling out today to readers in Brazil and Germany, and will expand to other countries in the coming months where local frameworks support these partnerships.”

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