Google suspended in October of last year the launch of its News Showcase program in Australia amid regulatory hurdles in the country. News Showcase was introduced last year in an effort to pay publishers whose articles are curated for story panels across Google's services. However, Australia was removed from its list after the country's antitrust regulators demanded that the search giant pay royalties to all publishers for their content.
Today, Google announced that it is finally launching an initial version of News Showcase in Australia. The company said the licensing program focuses on the "leading regional and independent publishers".
The first batch of publishers to receive monthly royalties starting today includes those who joined the program's maiden global launch last year. These are The Canberra Times, The Illawarra Mercury, The Saturday Paper, Crikey, The New Daily, InDaily, and The Conversation. The royalties are for publishers who curate their articles or give access to their paywalled content in hopes of growing their readership.
Curated articles under News Showcase will show up on story panels, which will be visible on Google News for Android, iOS and the mobile web as well as in Discover on iOS. The articles will also have an improved view and publishers will gain more insights into what type of content piques the interest of their readers the most.
In the future, Google will roll out News Showcase to Search and other platforms where News and Discover are available. Readers who tap on news articles in a story panel will be redirected to the publisher's direct web page. Google plans to enlist more publishers in Australia to the program over the next few months.