Today, we’re announcing that Google News Showcase, our new product experience and licensing program for news, will begin rolling out with local, national and independent publishers in the U.K. As part of our licensing agreements with publishers, we’re also launching the ability for readers to access select paywall content. This feature will give readers the opportunity to read more of a publisher’s content than they would otherwise have access to, while enabling publishers to encourage readers to become a subscriber.
In the U.K, Google has signed partnerships with publishers such as Archant, DC Thomson, Evening Standard, The Financial Times, Iliffe Media, The Independent, Midland News Association, New Statesman, Newsquest, JPI Media, Reach, The Telegraph and Reuters. In total, more than 120 publications in the U.K. will start curating content for News Showcase, many of them local newspapers who do not have the same resources that many larger, national papers have to invest in their digital transformation.
“We welcome this initiative and its potential to give public interest journalism a more visible platform in Google,” says David Higgerson, Chief Audience Officer of Reach, the largest commercial publisher in the U.K, with many regional and national brands. “For us, public interest journalism thrives when it is not just about recording events but is of genuine interest to the public and is able to attract an audience that means it is sustainable. Google’s work here will help give readers a new way to discover news which is important to them, which they may not otherwise have discovered.”
Globally, there are now more than 450 news publications in Google News Showcase in over a dozen countries including Australia, Germany, Brazil, Canada, France, Japan, U.K. and Argentina with discussions underway in a number of other countries.
“Google News Showcase extends The Independent’s well established partnership with Google, delivering on the brand’s diversified strategy to develop data-rich, engaged customer relationships, licensing revenues and digital subscriptions,” says Zach Leonard, Chief Executive of The Independent. “We’re thrilled to join the platform as it rolls out.”
With News Showcase panels, editors at news organizations can help explain complicated news topics and bring context to readers looking to understand more. News Showcase panels display an enhanced view of an article or articles, giving participating publishers more ways to bring important news to readers and explain it in their own voice, along with more direct control of presentation and branding.
“We have a longstanding partnership with Google and we are pleased to be launch partners for News Showcase,” says Chris Taylor, COO, The Telegraph. “We welcome the registration and subscription sampling opportunities that News Showcase will provide to Google users and we are confident that many of them will go on to become Telegraph subscribers.”
News Showcase content from our publisher partners will automatically start to appear in panels in Google News and Discover, and direct readers to the full article on the publisher’s site. People will see panels from publishers they follow in their personalised feeds and they might also see panels from publishers they’re less familiar with, presented as suggestions in the Google News “For You” feed and inside “Newsstand,” the discovery area of Google News. Panels are already appearing in Google News on Android, iOS and the mobile web, and in Discover on iOS, and will start appearing in other versions of these products soon.
“We are excited to be working with Google News Showcase and we hope to see new audiences coming to our sites through the partnership,” says Richard Neville, Head of Newspapers at DC Thomson, publishers of regional newspapers and magazines. “We are always looking for innovative ways to increase engagement and expand our ability to attract subscribers and I’m sure this will help us on both counts.”
These latest News Showcase partnerships build on the work that Google has done for nearly 20 years, in particular to support local journalism in the U.K. In January this year, we announced our support for an online portal for public notices to help preserve an important source of funding for U.K. local publishers. Last year, we funded 104 small and medium local newsrooms across the U.K. through our Journalism Emergency Relief Fund and we introduced the Digital Growth Programme, a free training program to help establish and grow the online business of small-to-medium sized news publishers who have more recently started developing their digital platforms. Forty-nine UK publishers have already taken part in the Digital Growth program.
As new partners from around the world continue to sign on to Google News Showcase, we’ll work to incorporate their feedback as we build out new, innovative features. Alongside governments, other companies and civic society, we’re dedicated to continuing to support the sustainability of the news industry both in the UK and around the world.