On Wednesday, Google the leader in free news web reporting announced the launch of its News Showcase product in the U.K. This means that the news which will appear on this product in the country will be paid for by Google.
This feature will be present on the Google News mobile app. It will also be present on Google Discover – a curated feed which contains articles and videos, on mobile devices. Users have to click on the extracts that will be available in both the Google News app and on Google Discover. Clicking on it will take the user to the full article present on the publisher’s site.
The tech giant has on boarded 450 news publications worldwide to provide content for these new features. The U.K. is now one among the many countries who is on the feature with agencies including Reuters, The Financial Times and more. Australia, Argentina, Germany, Brazil, Canada, Japan and France have already adopted this feature. The company said that it was in talks with renowned publishers in many other countries.
Silicon Valley tech giants have been under pressure to pay for news media, which they have been putting on their site for years, without paying for it. They have been using the content free and this has finally come under government scrutiny, in many countries.
Late last year, in October 2020, Google had pledged that it would pay $1 billion for news over the next three years but this had also created a certain amount of cynicism about the level of control that Google would exert over news agencies. At that time, Australian publishers had suggested that should be paid $600 million a year but it was rejected by Google.
The Australian government proposed a law to force Google and Facebook to pay news publishers if they used their links with their content in news feeds or search results. This would force tech companies to negotiate with local publishers and broadcasters when their content is included in search results or news feeds. If the two parties cannot favorably negotiate, a government arbitrator would step in and decide the payment rate.
Google called this law “unreasonable” and “unworkable.” Mel Silva, the managing director for Google Australia and New Zealand said that if this code became law, they would have “to stop making Google Search available in Australia.
The Silicon Valley tech company threatened to remove its search engine from Australia but perhaps has not received the response it expected. End of the day Google is the best source for free and fair information on the web!