In late June, we launched a licensing program to pay for quality content from publishers for an upcoming news experience. The goal of this project is to create something that gives readers more context and journalistic perspective on news stories as well as helps publishers’ distinct editorial voices shine through. Today, we wanted to update you on how we're working alongside our publisher partners to achieve this.
This licensing program and upcoming product both build on our broader commitment to support the news industry in its drive towards a more sustainable future. And as we expand licensing to more publishers in more countries, we’re also working closely with 10 different news outlets from Germany and Brazil on an early access program, testing features and gathering feedback to shape the product direction ahead of full launch later this year. Publishers taking part in this early access program including international brands as well as local household staples like ZEIT ONLINE, Der Spiegel, Tagesspiegel, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Ippen Media Group and Rheinische Post in Germany and Estado de Minas, A Gazeta, Correio Braziliense and UOL in Brazil. These partners are helping us test features and gather feedback ahead of a full launch later this year.
At Google, we know the best products are built when a diversity of knowledge, insight and expertise are brought into the mix, and this early access program is a major phase in our progress. Participating publishers are testing publisher tools, evaluating technical integrations and ensuring different templates enhance the ways they bring stories to their readers. We’re also discussing paywall integrations, where Google would pay for free access to allow readers to read articles on a publisher’s site. This will help paywalled publishers grow their audience and deepen their relationship with readers.
But the success of this product will rest on how good the experience is for readers, so bringing in experts from the news industry to understand their insights and hear their feedback is critical. That’s particularly appealing for Sebastian Horn, Deputy Editor of ZEIT ONLINE, one of Germany’s leading publishers and one of our partners. "Collaborating with Google on this new project allows us to bring the best of ZEIT ONLINE’s journalism to new audiences across Google's products and to do what our readers trust us to do best–provide them with the most relevant news and the best in-depth analysis on current topics.“
We also want to make sure readers know who is behind the news and find publications they respect. That’s why we’re making sure this product strongly reflects the publishers’ brand, while still creating a cohesive news experience.
“This new collaboration opportunity adds further value to the essence of our mission, which is to forge a very close bond with our community through quality journalism and a first rate product experience,” says Aglisson Lopes, the Performance Editor for A Gazeta, one of Brazil's leading local and regional publications. “We are a regional publisher that strives to be at the leading edge of digital trends and our continuing work with Google leads the way in getting us closer to this goal."
Google has long been invested in supporting news businesses and we believe the work we do through the Google News Initiative alongside the traffic from News and Search–24 billion visits a month–are hugely valuable. Our licensing program also plays a major role, and we will be announcing new partners in additional countries in the coming weeks.
As we get closer to a public launch, we’re especially grateful to these initial partners for working together to build a product that enables people to become more informed and provides additional financial support for news publishers.