Google will pay news publishers for content starting later this year

Google to pay publishers for news content

Google will start paying for some news content after complaints from publishers. FOX Business’ Susan Li with more.

Google announced on Thursday that it will be paying publishers for "high-quality content" for a news service that the tech giant is expected to launch later this year.

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The company says the program will diversify its support for news businesses; Google has partnered with local and national news outlets in Australia, Germany and Brazil to start, but the program will expand. It is unclear from the blog post how much Google will pay publishers for content.

"This program will help participating publishers monetize [publishers] 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," Brad Bender, Google News' vice president of product management, said in a blog post.

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The program will also allow News Initiative users to view paywalled content on publishers' websites, which will allow them to expand their audiences and give more people opportunities to read exclusive content.

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"We are always keen to explore innovative ways to attract readers to our high-quality content," Stefan Ottlitz, managing director of Germany's SPIEGEL Group, said in a statement. "This interesting new partnership with Google will allow us to curate an experience that will bring our award-winning editorial voice into play, broaden our outreach and provide trusted news in a compelling way across Google products."

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Google said in February that it was looking at new ways to expand its work with journalists and build upon its Google News Initiative, which launched in 2018 as a way to promote local journalism efforts and integrate tech like artificial intelligence and cloud storage within the news industry.

During the coronavirus pandemic, the Google News Initiative provided funding to more than 5,300 local news outlets, waived ad fees for certain outlets and provided $15 million to the Support Local News Campaign.

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The announcement comes after the News Media Alliance, a trade association representing more than 2,000 U.S. news media organizations, sent a letter last week to Attorney General William Barr accusing Google of misusing "its monopoly power to compensate news publishers at rates far below the that which would prevail in a competitive market."

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"In a competitive market, news publishers would be able to resist Google's abusive demands by exercising their copyrights to withhold their content unless and until acceptable terms were negotiated. But Google now has so much power as the dominant online platform … that it has been able to force acquiescence from publishers for the use of their content," the letter reads.

Google came under fire last week after it banned financial blog ZeroHedge from publishing ads on the platform and warned online magazine The Federalist of a similar ban if it did not moderate its comment section to meet Google's policies.

Google, Facebook and Amazon dominate the U.S. digital ad market.

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