Journalism: Google pays licenses for selected media

The search engine group Google wants to help publishers with more income and reach with a new initiative. For this purpose, publishing content is to be licensed and a new news format to be launched in the course of this year. “We will first test the new program with publishers from Germany, Australia and Brazil”Google manager Brad Bender wrote in a blog post. According to Google, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ), Spiegel, Zeit, Rheinische Post and Tagesspiegel are taking part in the initiative in Germany.

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The new offer should start on Google News and on the Android news feed Discover. How the format will be implemented is still unclear. Bender says the new program will help publishers “Increase the visibility of your content through an improved storytelling experience”. With the new format “readers can delve deeper into challenging stories, stay up to date and discover new topics and interests”.

Articles that are otherwise hidden behind a paywall could then also be available there. “Where available, Google also pays as part of the initiative for free access to paid articles on the websites of individual publishers”it continues. This would allow publishers to expand their reach “and give users the ability to read content they don’t normally see”. No further details were given at first. Among other things, it is unclear how much money Google will cost this initiative.

According to the news agency dpa, Google has the program “broad and long-term” and wants to expand this to more publishers – including smaller local newspapers – as well as radio stations and TV stations.

In recent years, publishers have argued with Google primarily about whether and how the display of search results could be paid for. To this end, an ancillary copyright for press publishers was introduced in Germany under pressure from publishers, which has since failed. The Federal Government is currently discussing the implementation of European ancillary copyright law in Germany. However, there is no direct connection between the new initiative and the ancillary copyright law.

Google has funded publishing projects through its Digital News Initiative in recent years. also benefited from the project in two funding rounds.

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