LONDON – Google will pay publishers $1 billion over the next three years for their content, the company's latest effort to defuse tensions over its dominance of the news industry.
The company said Thursday that it has signed agreements for its news partnership program with nearly 200 publications in Germany, Brazil, Argentina, Canada, the U.K. and Australia.
“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," CEO Sundar Pichai said in a blog post.
On Thursday, Google’s News Showcase is launching in Brazil and Germany, featuring story panels that let publishers package stories with features like timelines. It will appear first on Google News on Android, then Apple iOS, before it is rolled out to Google Discover and Search.
The publications that have signed up include Germany's Der Spiegel and Stern and Brazil's Folha de S.Paulo.
Other features like video, audio and daily briefings are also in the works. Pichai said Google is working to expand the program to other countries, namely India, Belgium and the Netherlands. He did not say whether the U.S. would be included.
The funding builds on a news licensing program launched by Google in June, as it seeks defuse tensions with the beleaguered news industry. News companies want Google, and its Silicon Valley rival Facebook, to pay for the news content that they siphon from commercial media while taking the lion's share of ad revenue.
Skeptics remain, however.