After several discussions and negotiations, the mighty Google has finally announced the much-awaited good news for “selected” publishers.
Yes, Google has now decided to bolster the active news industry who are trying hard to make people informed about tough situations prevailing across the world. Be it the ongoing pandemic, or racial injustices thriving in the crisis; Google is going to support the digital journalism industry and publishers who cover such news and distribute it to the society.
Though it seemed to be a constructive plan in crisis, we have to know about its hardcore facts behind it! Let’s find out now!
This is a new licensing program initiated by the tech giant to pay publishers who are distributing high-quality content which gives the reader a unique experience of the news. This program is supposed to be launched in the latter part of this year under “Google News and Discover”. As a start, this program would benefit the publishers in Germany, Australia, and Brazil, whereas the company stressed the point of expanding the program to more countries shortly.
As there is no explicit handbook on the program or the product, but it seems to be a peer competitor for Apple News.
Google also mentioned that it would provide free access to readers for the paywalled content. Google VP of Product for News, Brad Bender, States that,
Now, let’s look into to the core part of knowing the facts behind the Google’s new plan. Though it seems Google is executing all these for the publisher’s good and helping to boost journalism in this crisis struck digital era, but actually it was not so. The mighty tech company is accumulating a massive ad revenue by just displaying ads in their search query, but those publishers would earn only some revenue when they got any conversions from their website. Where by the last fiscal year 2019 alone, Google had a massive profit of $98.11 billion in ad revenue; only from search queries.
Hence the AntiTrust regulators were hitting hard on Google for reusing the publisher’s content and not sharing the revenue. So the mighty Google was pushed extremities on introducing this new licensing program.
What Makes Google to Formulate this Idea?
Google had no plans to pay the news publishers, but along with the pressures from antitrust regulators, the advertising revenues for the news publishers were considerably declined by the time. Taking this into account of the news publishers who are financially stressed, Google had put forward this effective plan to bolster the publishers on economic ground. The company also mentioned its financial support to 5,300+ local publications across the world as a Journalism Emergency Relief Fund for those publishers are affected by the Covid-19 economic stress. It also initiated the ad-serving fee waiver and $15m funding to support the local news campaign.
Antitrust authorities of France and Germany were defending the tech giant for a considerable share of revenue in reusing their publisher’s content. Germany had created a “Collective boycott” over Facebook and Google to share their ad revenue.
Moreover, Google’s program is intending only for selective publishers, which means again Google has a control on who the company has to pay. Google being the dominant player in the web search engine industry that processes about a whopping 83,789 search queries every second, it’s every move stands autocratic.
News Corp Australasia Executive Chairman Michael Miller mentioned this Google’s move to be a welcoming effort, but it also indicates the company’s inquisitiveness over social issues.
It is to note that the financial deals still seem to be opaque. Media researcher Rasmus Kleis Nielsen cited that this program would benefit only a small group of big publishers in the industry.
It seems Google’s new plans are just to relax the pressures from antitrust regulators. It is still a topic of concern whether this licensing program is designed to benefit those hard-working and financially stressed news publishers.