Google Australia has revealed it has signed deals to pay Australian publishers, despite the ongoing debate around the Government’s proposed News Media Bargaining Code.
Google announced a new initiative last month, named the Google News Showcase, which will see the tech giant pay publishers around the world $1 billion over the next three years.
Upon making the announcement, Google Australia confirmed that the Google News Showcase would be put “on pause for now” due to the ongoing negotiations between the company and the government over the draft code.
In a statement this morning, Google Australia and New Zealand managing director Mel Silva [featured image] confirmed that some publishers had signed on for the showcase.
“We’re keen to bring News Showcase to Australia and have signed agreements with a number of publishers already,” said Silva.
“And while we’ve had to pause the rollout of the product here for the time being, as we understand the impacts of the News Media Bargaining Code, talks have continued in the background.”
Google Australia has previously said the proposed code as it stands is “unworkable” and has been campaigning heavily for certain changes.
The final outcome of the News Media Bargaining Code is expected to confirmed in the coming days.
Google news showcase kicks off globally
As the program remains on pause in Australia, the Google News Showcase has now officially launched in other regions around the world, with almost 400 publications signing on across Germany, Brazil, Argentina, Canada, France and the U.K.
New partners include publications such as Le Monde, Courrier International, L’Obs, Le Figaro, Libération and L’Express in France, and Página12, La Gaceta and El Día in Argentina.
Google’s global product manager for news Alex Cox also revealed the initiative would start allowing readers to access content behind a paywall.
“Paywalls are a crucial part of some publishers’ revenue strategies,” Cox said.
“To support that goal, we’ll pay participating partners to provide limited access to paywalled content for News Showcase users. In return, users will register with the news publisher, providing a way for the publisher to build a relationship with readers.”
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