Google Alphabet Inc has reached licensing agreements with more than 600 news sites around the world and is seeing a “significant increase” in users requesting more content in certain books as part of a new program, it said Wednesday.
The renewal comes as major online service providers including Facebook Inc have been embroiled in serious disputes over appropriate compensation to publishers.
Google continues to negotiate with more publishers, including the United States, to spend $ 1 billion on what it calls the News Showcase.
The 2023 plan is Google’s biggest attempt to invest in an industry that accuses technology giants of extracting advertising revenue. Taken together, Facebook and Google control more than half of the digital advertising market.
Google uses less control over publishers’ spending.
“The purpose of our payment is to help make it easier for publishers to participate in the program,” Brad Bender, Google’s vice president of News Showcase, told Reuters. “But in the end we have worked to create this continuous future of news.”
But Google’s skepticism about making publishers accountable for producing business results with these funds leaves open the question of whether the media industry will eventually turn around after several efforts by technology companies to support and improve its vision.
“It’s not up to us to tell the publisher how to run his business,” Google said.
Bender expressed optimism, however, about leading News Showcase publishers looking forward to a brighter future and said the company would support the program in addition to the first $ 1 billion.
“We are determined to be part of the solution,” he said.
Publishers from twelve countries have agreed to license the content, Google plans to say in a blog post on Wednesday. Users can view content in Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Germany and Britain, with Italy joining on Wednesday.
In February, Google claimed that “more than 500 publishers” had signed up for deals.
Google’s one requirement for finding recipients is to provide a certain amount of content per day, says Bender. The grant helps journalist publishers to edit content, known as panels, that appear in Google News and Discover apps, Bender said.
Users can “follow” publishers to get more panels from them. Publishers including The Financial Times and The Canberra Times together produce 7,000 panels per day and users have subscribed to the next 200,000, Google plans to announce.
The option to select more content for some publishers was available in the Google News tool previously, but follows in the Showcase News panels in countries where they are currently represented representing 2 percent of all of the following, Google said.
Over time, Google hopes publishers can turn fans into paid subscribers or gain marketing power from more viewers for ad-supported content.
Reuters reported the fees for individual publishers in France from $ 1.3 million in Le Monde to $ 13,741 for local publisher La Voix de la Haute Marne.
Google declined to comment on commercial terms in France or elsewhere.
Bender acknowledged that Google had not consulted with unions and other organizations representing journalists in the development of the new program, many of whom in the United States had criticized private funding for media companies, costing and weakening content.
Ensuring that Google’s support expands newsrooms and not the owners’ pocketbooks is a discussion that groups of journalists should have with publishers, Google said.
Google, like other news-related features, has said it has no plans to monetize the News Showcase.