Google has launched a limited version of its News Showcase in Australia, despite its threat to leave the country if its demands are not heeded.
News Showcase, Google claims, provides an “improved view” of articles and aims to give participating publishers more ways to share important information to readers while having “more direct control over presentation and branding.”
The product will appear in Google News on Android, iOS, and the mobile web, as well as Discover on iOS.
New media code of conduct makes waves
So far, seven Australian news publishers have partnered with the search giant, said Kate Beddoe, Head of News, Web and Publishing Product Partnerships, APAC in a blog post. “The first publishers featured at today’s launch were among the first in the world to sign up, providing early feedback and commentary on how the product could help put their journalism forward. for readers, ”she says.
The launch of this product is due to the fact that Senators recently said in parliamentary hearings that they could not say whether News Showcase was an appropriate solution to financially support news publishers because the product did not not yet tested in Australia.
It also comes the day after Sundar Pichai, the director of Google’s parent company, Alphabet, met with Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who discussed the binding media code of conduct currently under consideration by parliament.
Since the code was drafted by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), Google has voiced its opposition to the project in its current form because it would force Google to “pay for links”. Google also called the code “unfair”, saying it jeopardizes “the way Australians do their research”. Facebook also rallied to the protest.
On the way to negotiations
While Google and ACCC are at an impasse, Scott Morrison noted that yesterday’s meeting was “constructive”. “I was able to send them the best possible signals which should strongly encourage them to engage in the process and to make the agreements that we would like to see them make with the various media organizations in Australia”, adds the Prime Minister.
Google announced its new News Showcase tool last October, along with a billion-dollar pledge to partner with news publishers. Since then, News Showcase has been launched in a dozen countries, including Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Japan and the United Kingdom.
In France, where press editors have negotiated with Google for neighboring rights, this tool will also be implemented. Some national media, starting with The world, Le Figaro and Release, have already joined the initiative.