Google Launches Platform In Australia With News For Online Users It Has Paid For.
Tech giant Google has launched a platform in Australia offering online users news it has paid for. Google struck its own content deals with individual publishers in a drive to show that legislation proposed by Canberra to enforce payments is unnecessary.
Only rolled out previously in Brazil and Germany, the News Showcase platform was originally supposed to be launched last June. However, Alphabet Inc-owned Google delayed plans when Canberra moved to make it a legal requirement for Google and Facebook to pay Australian media companies for content, which is unprecedented anywhere else in the world.
The tech firm, which is still lobbying the Australian government in private meetings, has previously said the legislation was “unworkable” and would force it to pull out of the country altogether if implemented.
With the legislation now before a parliamentary inquiry, Friday’s launch of News Showcase in Australia will see it pay seven domestic outlets, including the Canberra Times, to use their content.
Financial details of the content deals have not been disclosed. Google said on Friday in a statement that it looked forward to striking agreements with even more Australian publishers, whose position has been bolstered by Canberra’s aggressive push back against Facebook and Google.
“This provides an alternative to the model put forward by the Australian government,” said Derek Wilding, a professor at the University of Technology Sydney’s Centre for Media Transition.
“What remains to be seen is if larger publishers sign on to the product,” said Wilding.
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