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Google now pays 450 sites to bring you free news, including some paywalled stories

Google now pays 450 sites to bring you free news, including some paywalled stories


Google News Showcase launches today in the UK and Argentina

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Google’s News Showcase, a program wherein the search giant pays to curate news content from publishers, has launched in the UK and Argentina. In the UK, the service 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 includes content 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, as well as for access to paywalled content.

News Showcase is available in the Google News app on iOS, Android, and mobile web, as well as 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.

Last week, Google News Showcase launched in Australia, a country where the company is currently locking horns with lawmakers over new rules that could force it to pay news publishers for their content. Google recently threatened to pull its search engine from the country if the News Media Bargaining Code goes into effect. 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 tab recently arrived in the UK. Similar to 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.