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Google agrees to pay news publishers $1 billion for content

News producers have complained for years that advertisers have been moving their money to social sites like Google for their content, which appears in search results and on dedicated news pages. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI
News producers have complained for years that advertisers have been moving their money to social sites like Google for their content, which appears in search results and on dedicated news pages. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

Oct. 1 (UPI) -- Tech giant Google said Thursday it has agreed to pay more than $1 billion to dozens of publishers for news content in the coming years, an answer to complaints that have been made for years by outlets.

Google said a new format, called the News Showcase, will allow publishers to decide what content will be displayed on its search platform.

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The company said it will also pay some of the content producers to include premium articles at no cost to readers.

Google's agreement will pay producers more than $1 billion over three years and will begin immediately.

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"This financial commitment -- our biggest to date -- will pay publishers to create and curate high-quality content for a different kind of online news experience," Google CEO Sundar Pichai said in a statement.

"This approach is distinct from our other news products because it leans on the editorial choices individual publishers make about which stories to show readers and how to present them.

"It will start rolling out today to readers in Brazil and Germany, and will expand to other countries in the coming months where local frameworks support these partnerships."

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Producers in Britain, Australia and Canada are also part of the deal.

Google said the money is an investment in the future of the news industry.

"Depending on the story and how they want to tell it, participating publishers can pick the best template to showcase the best of their journalism and tell stories the way they want to," said Brad Bender, Google vice president of product management for news.

"This additional context for users not only helps users understand the story better but also helps them to get to know the publisher's editorial voice and priorities."

In recent years, some advertisers have moved their money from individual news outlets to social platforms like Google and Facebook, where the content appears in both search results and dedicated news sections.

The shift, content producers argued, severely disrupted the industry's longtime revenue models. The publishers called for social platforms to start paying to display the content.

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