Google’s News Showcase has launched in the United Kingdom, giving readers access to previously paywalled content from major publishers including The Financial Times and The Telegraph.
It is the same initiative that launched last week in Australia, where seven independent publishers will be paid by the tech giant for their “curatorial expertise”.
The UK version, however, will be offered on a far larger scale. More than 120 local, national and independent publishers will be curating content for the Google News Showcase, including major names such as Archant, DC Thomson, Evening Standard, The Financial Times, Iliffe Media, The Independent, Midland News Association, New Statesman, Newsquest, JPI Media, Reach, The Telegraph and Reuters.
Under the arrangement, content from publisher partners will automatically appear in panels in Google News and Discover and will direct readers to the full article on the publisher’s site.
Readers will see content from publishers they already follow and will also receive suggestions about titles they are less familiar with.
Globally, there are now 450 publications taking part in the initiative.
“As new partners from around the world continue to sign on to Google News Showcase, we’ll work to incorporate their feedback as we build out new, innovative features. Alongside governments, other companies and civic society, we’re dedicated to continuing to support the sustainability of the news industry both in the UK and around the world,” Google UK & Ireland VP and MP Ronan Harris said.
Australia takes note
In Australia, the limited uptake of the Google News Showcase can largely be attributed to the prolonged debate over the News Media Bargaining Code.
As it currently stands, both Google and Facebook will be made to pay news outlets for links and snippets in Search.
Both News Corp and Nine have urged the government to push forward with a ‘baseball arbitration’ method should the parties not be able to come to an agreement over the size of the payment.
Google, meanwhile, has presented the case of making payments to publishers under the News Showcase as part of the News Media Bargaining Code.
Reports earlier this week suggested Google was again in talks with media companies about the News Showcase, offering media businesses revised deals.
It comes after Prime Minister Scott Morrison told the media Google was in a “much more positive space” about remaining in Australia, after previously threatening to remove search from the region if the News Media Bargaining Code is turned into law without revisions.
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