With Google being the go-to search engine for most internet users, it’s no surprise that they also dealing with the proliferation of fake news that many companies in the industry are plagued by. This was primarily the reason for its Google News Initiative back in 2018 which look to legitimise a lot of its news sources. The problem was that a lot of news organizations in Europe were fighting the tech giant to pay them for previewing their news articles, as it essentially was copyright infringement. Something which Google refused to do, as they saw themselves as merely an aggregator, from which the new agencies should benefit from getting more views – though arguably Google was making the most from all the advertising revenue collected.
It appears now though that Google might give in to these demands with The Wall Street Journal reporting that the company is working on another news product which will publish news stories from specific sites in a prescribed format, but this time with Google prepared to pay for the content to match that format.
Google has already done something similar where last year they began licensing audio news from publishers like ABC, Cheddar, The Associated Press, CNN, Fox News Radio, PBS, Reuters, WYNC, and a bunch of local radio stations. Google pays the companies to create audio in a specific format that works with Google Assistant.
Considering the difficulties of online journalism to make any money whatsoever, this news could be a positive one for the industry and help support an industry that certainly needs it. Apple and Facebook though have also experimented with paying publishers for the content which hasn’t appeared to help them much from a revenue perspective. Hopefully, Google with its larger footprint will help make a difference, but I guess that all depends on exactly how much they are prepared to pay for this content or alternatively work out a better share of advertising revenue.
Last Updated: February 18, 2020