Google has launched the News Showcase news platform with seven news outlets in Australia. The news organizations receive a monthly fee from Google to present their articles there and in some cases the platform allows access to messages that are normally behind a paywall.
With the step, Google is responding to the pressure for upcoming rules. Australia wants to legislate that Facebook and Google must pay news publishers for their content, something that has never been seen in the world before.
The two US companies control much of the global online advertising market. This is at the expense of local news publishers and journalism, say critics. In addition to subscriptions, advertisements are a major source of income for media companies.
News Showcase kicks off with messages from The Illawarra Mercury, The Canberra Times, Crikey, The Saturday Paper, The New Daily, InDaily, In Queensland and The Conversation. More media should follow later, according to Google.
Google is thus putting an alternative on the table
Derek Wilding, a professor at the Center for Media Transition at the University of Technology Sydney, says Google is presenting an alternative to the Australian government’s wishes. “What remains to be seen is whether larger publishers are committed to the product,” he says.
Google is still negotiating with the Australian government. The company has previously said the new law is “unworkable” and threatened to withdraw its search engine in the country.
Josh Frydenberg, Australia’s Treasury Treasurer, says Google’s stance has been “constructive” in recent days.