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Google Launches Global Licensing Programme News Showcase In India

Wednesday, 19 May 2021, 04:34 Hrs

Google launched its worldwide licensing program, News Showcase, in India on Tuesday, amid rising pressure from media houses demanding technology platforms to pay a fair price and share a portion of the advertising revenue for presenting stories.

The initiative, rolled out last October, pays publishers for news content and allows them to provide limited access to pay-walled stories for users.

Showcase is part of Google’s $1-billion investment to support quality journalism.

Google has sealed agreements with 30 Indian publishers to offer access to some of their content such as HT Digital Streams Ltd, The Hindu Group, Indian Express Group, ABP LIVE, India TV, NDTV, Zee News, Amar Ujala, Deccan Herald, Punjab Kesari, The Telegraph India, Indo Asian News Service (IANS) and Asian News International (ANI).

The content from the publishers will start appearing in News Showcase story panels on Google News and on Discover pages in both English and Hindi. More local languages will be added in the future. It will also pay participating organizations to give readers access to limited amount of paywalled content.

“That’s something we are working on with each publisher individually,” said Brad Bender, vice president, product management, News, Google Inc.

However, not all publishers are pleased with the arrangement. “News Showcase is a curated product where Google will pay publishers for a certain number of articles, but not for the content that appears on its search engine,” said a top executive of a large publishing house and a member of the INS, seeking anonymity.

The person said news articles appearing on search are monetized by Google, but the news organization does not get paid for it. “They have to pay much more and compensate all publishers for original reporting.”

The News Showcase product launch, he said, is to appease publishers globally and it is unlikely to make much of a difference. “Google will continue to benefit from the credibility of the content that news organizations are producing,” he added.

Suparna Singh, head, NDTV Convergence, the digital arm of television news broadcaster NDTV, however, said: “News Showcase will help highlight our premium content to an audience. Google’s effort to support journalism at a time when publishers are rightfully seeking better compensation for their content is very welcome.”