Alphabet’s Google has agreed to pay more for high-quality content to some media groups in Australia, Brazil and Germany and expects that it will strike more deals, in a move that is being seen as a step forward at resolving the issue that the tech giant has with publishers. The company has however said that deals with many other media outlets were sceptical.
For years there has been demand and pressure on the United States based internet giant from news publishers worldwide for payment against the content that the tech giant makes use of in its search engine. The fiercest critics of this business policy of Google have been media groups of Europe.
“Today, we are announcing a licensing programme to pay publishers for high-quality content for a news experience launching later this year,” Brad Bender, Google’s vice-president for news, said in a blogpost.
“We will start with publishers in a number of countries around the globe, with more to come soon,” he said, without providing financial details.
Google’s payments were an adequate contribution, a German media executive told the media. “Not too much, but not peanuts either. This is a huge paradigm shift! Five years ago that would have been unthinkable,” the executive was quoted as saying in a report published by Reuters.
Google News and Discover will be the tow platforms where the new product will be made available by Google. The tech giant will also offer to pay for free access for users to read paywalled articles on a publisher’s site whenever and wherever those are available, Bender said.
The reaction to the announcement by Google was lukewarm from the European Publishers Council which said that making payment for content which they profit from should be the norm for dominant online platforms.
“The current state of play, whereby no licences are concluded with Google, is an unacceptable exception,” council Executive Director Angela Mills Wade said.
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 are the publishers involved in the project.
Google has been ordered by France’s competition authority to pay the French publishers. On the other hand, Australia has said that it would force Google and Facebook to part with a share of their advertisement revenues that they generate by displaying local news content from the local media groups and share the money with the media groups in the country.
(Adapted from ChannelNewsAsia.com)