Google testing new licensing tools with news publishers

Google that recently announced a new licensing programme to pay publishers for high-quality content is currently working closely with 10 different news outlets from Germany and Brazil on an early access programme.

In late June, the tech giant launched a licensing programme to pay for quality content from publishers for an upcoming news experience.

Google said before it expands licensing to more publishers in more countries, it is currently working alongside its publisher partners in select countries.

“Publishers taking part in this early access programme include international brands as well as local household staples. These partners are helping us test features and gather feedback ahead of a full launch later this year,” Brad Bender, VP Product Management, News, said in a statement on Thursday.

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,” Bender said.

Google said it is sending users to news sites 24 billion times every month, providing an opportunity for publishers to grow their audiences and show Google users ads or offers for subscriptions.

The new licensing programme will help participating publishers monetize their content through an enhanced storytelling experience that lets people go deeper into more complex stories, stay informed and be exposed to a world of different issues and interests.

To date, the Google News Initiative (GNI) has provided $39.5 million in funding to more than 5,600 publishers in 115 countries who are facing financial hardship as a result of the economic and advertising downturn in the pandemic.

It has also launched a free training programme for small-to-medium sized news publishers that would be available first in Europe and will roll out to more regions in the coming months.