On Thursday (1st October 2020), Google CEO Sundar Pichai said that Google has planned to pay $1 billion to publishers globally for their news over the next three years. This step could help the giant company win over a powerful group amid heightened regulatory scrutiny worldwide.
Many news publishers around the globe have constantly fought the world's most popular internet search engine for compensation for using the news content of their channels. This fight has been mainly led by the European Media group.
This new product which will be launched by Google will be called Google News Showcase. This product will be first launched in Germany. In Germany, it has signed up with leading newspapers which include Der Spiegel, Stern, Die Zeit, and Brazil with Folha de S.Paulo, Band, and Infobae. After this, it will be launched in several different countries like Belgium, India, the Netherlands to name a few. It is reported that around 200 200 publishers in Argentina, Australia, Britain, Brazil, Canada, and Germany have signed up to Google News Showcase.
In a blog, Sundar Pichai said that this was the biggest financial commitment up to this date for Google which will pay publishers to create and curate high-quality content for a different kind of online news experience. This product will launch on Google News on Android devices and in due course on Apple devices as well. This product will allow publishers to pick and present their stories on their Android and Apple devices. The CEO also stated that "This approach is distinct from our other news products because it leans on the editorial choices individual publishers make about which stories to show readers and how to present them."
A net profit of $34.3 billion on revenue of almost $162 billion last year was reported by Google parent Alphabet.
Also, the German publisher the Spiegel Group welcomed the project. Spiegel Group also said that a move of integrating News Showcase and editorial content like Spiegel from Google shows that the popular internet search engine is very serious about supporting quality journalism in Germany. Stefan Ottlitz, the managing director of the Spiegel Group also added that they were happy to be part of the News Showcase from the start.
However, even after support from these publication houses, Google couldn’t find enthusiasm from The European Publishers Council (EPC), whose members include News UK, the Guardian, Pearson, the New York Times, and Schibsted. EPC Executive Director, Angela Mills Wade said that "By launching a product, they (Google) can dictate terms and conditions, undermine legislation designed to create conditions for a fair negotiation while claiming they are helping to fund news production."
In June, News Showcase will build on a licensing deal with media groups in Australia, Brazil, and Germany. The most vocal critics of Google have been the French Publishers and negotiations have been carried on with them too. Australia on the other hand builds on a licensing deal with media groups in Australia, Brazil, and Germany.
Other internet publishers like weather websites and recipe tools are frustrated by this move of Google as it has caused a dip in their revenue.