Google agrees to pay publishers for ‘high-quality’ news articles

25 Jun 2020

Image: © Thaspol/

Google is rolling out a new licensing programme for content, which will see the company pay publishers in a ‘new news experience’.

Google’s vice-president of product management, Brad Bender, has announced a new licensing programme geared towards supporting the news industry.

As part of the programme, Google will now pay select publishers for “high-quality content” in what it described as a “new news experience” that the company is launching later this year.

It aims to help participating publishers to monetise their content through an “enhanced storytelling experience”, which will let readers go deeper into complex stories.

The programme will begin with a select number of publishers in Germany, Australia and Brazil, but Google plans to eventually expand it further.

It comes a few months after the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission began developing a mandatory code of conduct applying to the relationship between news and media companies and tech platforms such as Google and Facebook.

The code of conduct looked at issues such as the sharing of data, ranking of news content online and the sharing of revenue generated from news.

Google’s new licensing programme

Bender wrote that a vibrant news industry matters “perhaps now, more than ever” as people look for reliable information during a global pandemic and as concerns about racial injustice grow around the world.

He said that these events are happening at a time when the news industry is being challenged financially and that Google wants to support publishers that report on important topics. The company has already been working with Germany’s Spiegel Group, InQueensland and InDaily in Australia, and Brazil’s Diários Associados.

“Our publisher partners, who we’ve been in discussions with for several months, say this is a positive shift in direction,” Bender said.

He added that, where available, Google will now offer to pay for free access for users to read paywalled articles on a publisher’s website, to let paywalled publishers grow their audiences and open an opportunity for people to read content they may not ordinarily see.

Stefan Ottlitz, managing director of Spiegel Group, said: “This interesting new partnership with Google will allow us to curate an experience that will bring our award-winning editorial voice into play, broaden our outreach and provide trusted news in a compelling way across Google products.”

Kelly Earley was a journalist with Silicon Republic