Google ties up with publishers for news subscription; launches News Showcase in India

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Updated: May 18, 2021 3:11 PM

Google has inked licensing deals with 30 publishers including The Indian Express Group, Business Standard, The Hindu Group among others

The service will be available in English and Hindi, starting todayThe service will be available in English and Hindi, starting today

After launching its subscription model in countries such as Australia, the UK, Argentina, among others, and post facing harsh criticism on how Google dominates the ad business online, the tech giant on Tuesday announced the roll-out of Google News Showcase in India, its subscription and licensing programme for publishers. “With more younger consumers and first time internet users leveraging the reach of digital access, this programme incentivises and supports news publishers to curate high quality content on Google’s News and Discover platforms, connecting readers with the news they need,” Sanjay Gupta, vice president, Google India, said.

The service will be available in English and Hindi, starting today. As for the business model, Google has inked licensing deals with 30 publishers including The Indian Express Group, Business Standard, The Hindu Group among others. The deal includes various aspects including discoverability of news, branding of the feed besides the fact that Google will pay publishers for sharing content which is behind the paywall. To begin with, a certain portion of the overall content which is behind the paywall will be made available to read for free for a certain time period to users. Once a user gets accustomed, she will be redirected to these publishers’ subscription pages, urging them to pay for the content. Other models include paying for additional views on behalf of the users. However, this will vary from publishers to publishers, it said.

Google said that it is licensing for the editorial curation of the content and for it to be developed into the panels. Starting Tuesday, News Showcase will be available to Google News app users both on Android and iOS.

The Google News Showcase panels will allow publishers to give additional context about a story so audiences can understand better. Furthermore, the panel templates have been designed to show editorial content, claims the tech firm. According to Google, News Showcase will drive all traffic back to the publishers’ websites, ensuring that users can continue to develop deeper relationships with them through this programme. “We’re also paying publishers, for access to paywalled content to provide users, free access to select content, enabling people to try content that they may not have otherwise seen on their journey to becoming a subscriber,” Brad Bender, vice-president, product management, News, Google, said. Launched in October 2020, News Showcase is currently live in ten countries including Brazil, Japan, Canada, Argentina, among others with more than 700 deals signed with news publications.

Moreover, under its GNI Digital Growth Program it will help 20 mid and small size newsrooms to transform digitally. These newsrooms should be functional for 12 months and should have employees between two-100 and could be any organisation starting from NGO to local news stations TV and print players. It will announce the details in June. The company also provided a $1 million grant via Google.org for Internews to train journalists, fact checkers, academics, NGOs to fight misinformation and fake news.

Read Also: Television emerged as the most preferred medium for political ads during Tamil Nadu and Kerala elections: TAM AdEx

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