Google’s News Showcase, a program wherein the search engine pays to curate news content from publishers, has launched in the UK and Argentina. In the UK, the new program covers over 120 publications, while 40 Argentinian publications have signed up. For readers, the service includes the ability to access select paywalled content for free. News Showcase launched in Germany and Brazil last year, and Australia last week, and now has ranged from over 450 publications worldwide.
In the UK, publications available through the service include Reuters, the Financial Times, The Independent, the New Statesman, and The Telegraph, while Argentinian publications include Clarín, La Nación, and Perfil. An FAQ from Google notes that publishers are paid a monthly fee to curate news stories for the service and access to paywalled content.
News Showcase is available in the Google News app on iOS, Android, mobile web, and Discover on iOS. On select Android phones, like Google Pixel devices, Discover is available by swiping to the left on the home screen. The interface shows lists of articles from each publication, which you can tap to read in full.
More than 120 publications in the U.K. will start curating content for News Showcase, many of them local newspapers that do not have the same resources that many larger, national papers have to invest in their digital transformation. 2/ https://t.co/CV3mFa2QUK pic.twitter.com/buDHqtiA9N
— Google News Initiative (@GoogleNewsInit) February 10, 2021
Last week, Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he’d held “constructive” talks with Google CEO Sundar Pichai over the new rules.
The situation means that although seven Australian publishers have joined the program, covering over 25 publications, The Guardian reports that one outlet, Nine, chose not to negotiate with Google until the new code is brought in. In an FAQ, Google says it believes News Showcase should be compatible with the new rules since publishers are free to enter into arbitration if they don’t like Google’s News Showcase deal.
Facebook has a similar news initiative that involves paying publishers to license their content in the form of the News tab, a section of the service that includes a mix of curated and personalized news stories. After launching in the US, the bill recently arrived in the UK. Like Google News Showcase, the service involves Facebook paying select publishers to license content, including some that would normally be paywalled.
Beyond the UK and Argentina, Google says it’s also readying to launch News Showcase in France, Canada, and Japan.