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Google’s news licensing program still coming this year, will emphasize publisher branding

Back in June, Google announced that it would pay publishers for content as part of an upcoming feature in Google News and Discover. Google yesterday provided an update on the news licensing program, including priorities and who it’s working with.

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

Google has yet to detail what the final Discover/News experience for end-users will look like, but reiterated a “full launch later this year.” It is currently working with 10 German and Brazilian publications on an early access program to test features and gather feedback.

Publishers taking part in this early access program including international brands as well as local household staples like ZEIT ONLINEDer Spiegel, TagesspiegelFrankfurter Allgemeine ZeitungIppen Media Group and Rheinische Post in Germany and Estado de Minas A GazetaCorreio Braziliense and UOL in Brazil.

They are currently “testing publisher tools, evaluating technical integrations and ensuring different templates enhance the ways they bring stories to their readers.”

The two sides are also “discussing paywall integrations” that see Google pay to provide free access to readers:

This will help paywalled publishers grow their audience and deepen their relationship with readers.

One big focus is to “make sure readers know who is behind the news and find publications they respect.” This could mean prominent publisher branding in Discover/News.

That’s why we’re making sure this  product strongly reflects the publishers’ brand, while still creating a cohesive news experience. 

In the blog post, Google said it’s getting “closer to a public launch” of this news licensing program. It plans to “expand licensing to more publishers in more countries” over time. 

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Avatar for Abner Li Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: