Internet

Irish newspapers sign deal with Google to end tension over online news content – Independent.ie


Eight Irish publishers, including Mediahuis, the owners of the Irish Independent, have signed up for Google’s News Showcase service, where the tech giant will pay the publishers to show some of their news online.

n total 40 titles are now included in the service, which came about as a result of tension between Google and publishers around the world.

Google will also now pay publishers to give readers access to a limited amount of paywalled content.

None of the publishers have disclosed how much Google is paying them to display their articles.

However, Google’s global vice-president of news, Richard Gingras, recently told the Irish Independent that newspaper payment deals range from “five figures to seven figures” depending on the size of the publisher.

The publisher of Mediahuis Ireland, Peter Vandermeersch, declined to comment on the value of the deal but said that it was not about money.

“We are not participating in Showcase for the financial benefits of it,” he told the Irish Independent. “We are seeing it as an interesting experiment to see if we can reach, with our premium content, people who could be interested in a subscription but who we do not reach through our own platform. Maybe they will do via Google.”

He said that the “important” agreement with Google “represents the culmination of months of detailed discussions to recognise the value of our high-quality, trusted content”.

“As the largest newspaper publisher on the island of Ireland, we look forward to learning how News Showcase can drive increased reader engagement over the coming months,” he said.

Titles such as the Irish Independent and Sunday World are among the 40 national and regional publications included in the deal, which also covers the Irish Times, Irish Examiner, Connaught Telegraph, Clare Echo, Donegal Daily, Derry Now, Irish Mirror, The Journal and others.

Google has said that it is investing $1bn in the scheme to give “news organisations the ability to curate news content on Google’s News and Discover platforms for their readers, giving better context to stories and connecting readers with the news that matters to them.”

Google has previously said that it will make no money from its payment deals with news publishers, but is instead engaging with them to subsidise a “healthy ecosystem”.

“It’s not designed to be profitable,” Mr Gingras recently told the Irish Independent. “We look at it indirectly,” said the Google global vice-president of news. “The benefit to us is that if there’s a healthy ecosystem, there is greater value in what we provide with search.

“It also means that publishers will continue to be viable and generate revenue for us. But we don’t feel that Showcase are direct revenue lines for Google.”

Stories clicked on from Google’s News Showcase are sent directly to the publisher’s website, driving traffic to those companies.

Users may also see panels from publishers they’re “less familiar with”, according to Google, which will then be presented as options in the Google News ‘For You’ feed and inside ‘Newsstand’, which is an area within Google News.

“The rollout of Google News Showcase in Ireland represents the next step for Google and publishers, creating a sustainable model for news,” said Anthony Nakache, Google’s director of online partnerships in Europe.

“We are committed to continuously supporting journalism and investing in this support, and I’m pleased to see Google News Showcase launch in Ireland with such a high volume of high-calibre publications.

“Over the coming months, we’ll be working closely with our news partners and taking on board their feedback, while also bringing new publishers to the Showcase programme with more publications and content accessible to readers.”

Other publishing groups, such as Iconic Media Group, also expressed their satisfaction with the deal.



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