As a political battle continues between Google, Facebook and the Federal Government over its planned mandatory bargaining code designed to force the tech giants to ‘pay for news’, Google today launched its News Showcase product in Australia.
The showcase, announced last year, features news content from a range of Australian publishers, including InDaily and our sister site InQueensland, The New Daily, The Canberra Times, The Illawarra Mercury, The Saturday Paper, Crikey, and The Conversation.
Google’s head of news, web and publishing product partnerships in the Asia-Pacific, Kate Beddoe, said today the initial version of the showcase had “a keen focus on leading regional and independent publishers given the importance of local information and the role it plays in people’s everyday lives”.
“News Showcase is designed to bring value to both publishers and readers by providing a licensing program that pays publishers to curate content for story panels across Google services, and gives readers more insights into the stories that matter,” she said.
“Since launching last year, alongside a $1.3 billion AU (US $1 billion) global investment, we’ve more than doubled the number of publications that are part of News Showcase; now, there are over 450 publications across a dozen countries such as the UK, Germany, Brazil, Argentina, Canada and Japan. Last month, we announced a global deal with Reuters as well as multiple deals with publishers in France, including the country’s three top daily newspapers.”
She said the Australian publishers involved in the product launched today were among the first globally to sign up.
“We have been continually working with Australian news publishers of all sizes to provide their readers with a different kind of news experience under News Showcase.
“As this early version of News Showcase rolls out, the partnerships will provide financial support for some of the country’s most respected independent, local and regional publications…
“We are looking forward to bringing more Australian media partners on board in the coming weeks and months as we further build out the experience for publishers and users.”
Paul Hamra, the managing director of Solstice Media, the South Australian-owned publisher of InDaily and InQueensland, said the Google initiative offered an opportunity for independent news websites to grow their audience for important local content.
“With local news under stress, finding new channels and new audiences for our premium content, in safe and curated environments, is a high priority,” he said. “This opportunity will give us access to new markets and provide additional commercial benefits.”
Google’s new product displays “panels” with news curated by each publisher.
It says the panels will appear across Google News on Android, iOS and the mobile web, and in Discover on iOS.
“We also plan to bring News Showcase to Search as well as the other surfaces of Google News and Discover in the future,” Google said.
The quickest way to find and follow InDaily’s showcase content is by opening the Google news app and navigating to “Newsstand”.
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