Google's plan to launch a licensing program called News Showcase for publishers in Australia last year hit a snag when the country's legislators proposed a bill that would make it mandatory for tech giants to pay license fees to Australian media organizations for their content. The legislation led to a dispute between the search giant and Australia, almost jeopardizing the Australian users' access to the search engine. However, it didn't prevent Google from finally rolling out News Showcase in the country anyway.
Today, the licensing program is expanding to other countries. Google announced today that News Showcase is available to participating publishers in the UK and Argentina. As part of this program, those who've previously been unable to read paywalled news articles in those countries will now be able to access them.
News Showcase marks a win-win situation for both the publishers and consumers. For publishers, it essentially expands their market reach and opportunity to attract more paying subscribers. Meanwhile, consumers will have access to paid content that they would otherwise not be able to read.
In the UK, participating publishers include Archant, DC Thomson, Evening Standard, The Financial Times, Iliffe Media, The Independent, Midland News Association, New Statesman, Newsquest, JPI Media, Reach, The Telegraph, and Reuters. In Argentina, some of the news groups that signed up for the program are Clarin, La Nación, Perfil, Crónica, Cronista, El Economista, Diario Río Negro, El Día, La Gaceta, and El Litoral, among others.
News Showcase articles will appear on story panels that consumers can read through Google News on Android, iOS, and the mobile web, as well as Discover on iOS. In the future, these panels will also show up on the Google News and Discover apps on other platforms that they're available on. These panels will be accessible in the users' personalised feeds while panels from less familiar publishers may be recommended in the Google News “For You” feed and within “Newsstand". Users who tap on articles in a panel will be redirected to the publisher's direct web page.
Today's announcement represents another expansion for News Showcase, which already counts over 450 media partners across the world. In addition to Australia, Argentina, and the UK, the program is already available in Germany, Brazil, Canada, France, and Japan.