Signing agreements for its news partnership program with nearly 200 publications, Google on Thursday announced it would pay publishers $1 billion over the next three years for their content.
Releasing a statement in a blog post about Google’s News Showcase, CEO Sundar Pichai said: “This financial commitment – our biggest to date – will pay publishers to create and curate high-quality content for a different kind of online news experience.”
The program, which was rolled out in Brazil and Germany on Thursday, will feature story panels that will allow publishers to package stories. It will appear first on Google News on Android, then Apple iOS, before it is rolled out to Google Discover and Search.
The following is a reproduction of the full text of Pichai’s letter:
One of the most enduring memories of my childhood is waiting for my father and grandfather to finish the paper over breakfast every morning to get the latest headlines, especially in the sports section. To this day, my father still texts me whenever he sees something interesting in the news… which is a lot! I have always valued quality journalism and believed that a vibrant news industry is critical to a functioning democratic society.
It’s equally important to Google’s mission to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful. Over the last several years, we’ve taken many steps to support the news industry, from sending 24 billion visits to news websites globally every month, to the Google News Initiative’s $300 million commitment, including emergency funding for local publishers to help with the impact of COVID-19 and our Digital Growth Program aimed at small and medium-sized publishers to accelerate their business growth.
But there is more to do. Today I’m proud to announce Google is building on our long-term support with an initial $1 billion investment in partnerships with news publishers and the future of news.
A new kind of news experience
This financial commitment — our biggest to date — will pay publishers to create and curate high-quality content for a different kind of online news experience. Google News Showcase is a new product that will benefit both publishers and readers: It features the editorial curation of award-winning newsrooms to give readers more insight on the stories that matter, and in the process, helps publishers develop deeper relationships with their audiences.
News Showcase is made up of story panels that will appear initially in Google News on Android. The product will launch soon on Google News on iOS and will come to Google Discover and Search in the future. These panels give participating publishers the ability to package the stories that appear within Google’s news products, providing deeper storytelling and more context through features like timelines, bullets, and related articles. Other components like video, audio, and daily briefings, will come next.
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 present them. It will start rolling out today to readers in Brazil and Germany and expand to other countries in the coming months where local frameworks support these partnerships.
We’ve signed partnerships for News Showcase with nearly 200 leading publications across Germany, Brazil, Argentina, Canada, the UK, and Australia. The publications include award-winning national titles like Der Spiegel, Stern, Die Zeit, Folha de S Paulo, Band, and Infobae alongside regionally and locally significant publications such as El Litoral, GZH, WAZ, and SooToday. The number of news publications will grow as we expand News Showcase to other countries, including India, Belgium, and the Netherlands.
We’ve signed partnerships for News Showcase with nearly 200 leading publications across Germany, Brazil, Argentina, Canada, the UK, and Australia.
News Showcase builds on our existing news licensing program, which is already paying publishers for quality journalism and other news-related efforts like Subscribe with Google, Web Stories, and audio news. And it will give readers more context and perspective on important stories in the news and drive high-value traffic to a publisher’s site.
Our long-term commitment
Both News Showcase and our financial investment—which will extend beyond the initial three years—are focused on contributing to our news partners’ overall sustainability around the world.
The business model for newspapers—based on ads and subscription revenue—has been evolving for more than a century as audiences have turned to other news sources, including radio, television, and later, the proliferation of cable television and satellite radio. The internet has been the latest shift, and it certainly won’t be the last. Alongside other companies, governments, and civic societies, we want to play our part by helping journalism in the 21st Century, not just survive but thrive.