For the past two decades, we’ve worked closely and collaboratively with the news industry on helping publishers evolve in the digital age. One of the major ways we support journalism is through Google News Showcase, our new product and licensing program that pays news publishers to curate content across Google News and Discover, fueled by our recent $1 billion investment in news. News Showcase also benefits readers by helping them understand complex stories and find the news organizations covering the issues, both locally and nationally, that matter most to them.
In the past six months, we’ve launched News Showcase in the U.K., Australia, Argentina, Brazil and Germany and signed deals with close to 600 publishers in over a dozen countries; over 90% of the publishers are considered local, regional or community newspapers. Today, we started rolling out News Showcase to users in Italy.
Now that publishers have been able to use News Showcase for a few months, we wanted to give an update on how it is working for the news organizations currently live on the product.
First, we’re thrilled by the amount of quality content our publisher partners are providing to readers through News Showcase. News organizations from the Evening Standard and The Financial Times in the U.K. to The Canberra Times, The Illawarra Mercury and The Saturday Paper in Australia, to Infobae, Página12, and El Día in Argentina, Der Spiegel, Stern and Die Zeit in Germany and Folha de S.Paulo and A Crítica in Brazil are producing more than 7,000 panels per week, ensuring there is a wide variety of timely, in-depth stories for readers.
Many of the panels that are currently being created are aimed at helping to inform users at the start or end their day, a choice that publishers are able to make thanks to the flexibility of the product. This variety and flexibility ensures publishers have control over their voice, storytelling and ability to reach readers, a choice that publishers make on their own sites that they can now do inside Google products with News Showcase. In an era of fast-paced news, News Showcase publishers are helping readers by highlighting the news they may have missed and getting them up to speed on the day’s events.
In Google News, readers can follow a publisher when they want to see more content from them. When that happens, it tells us the product is working: The reader found a publisher they liked enough to want to hear more from every day. Since we launched, users have followed news publishers more than 200,000 times thanks to the features we launched alongside News Showcase. This is a huge increase, and we’re looking forward to seeing these new relationships develop.
We’re constantly looking to improve News Showcase’s contribution to a sustainable news ecosystem, and these early signs are encouraging. Our first news partners recently launched our extended access feature, which pays participating publishers to allow readers to access some of their paywalled content provided through News Showcase. This preview of publishers’ premium content can help users realize the value of being a paying subscriber, and we’re looking forward to users growing and strengthening their relationship with publishers as a result of this new feature.
“The experience of working together with Google has been surprisingly fluid and enriching,” says Daniel Dessein, President of La Gaceta, a regional newspaper that covers the province of Tucuma in Argentina. “The process of setting up News Showcase was much more agile than we originally thought and we received support from high-level developers who gave us valuable insight and learnings for La Gaceta. Extended access has opened up new, exciting ways for audiences to connect with our content.”
People who deeply understand the value of their favorite publishers’ journalism are much more likely to subscribe, and it’s these users who do the most to help support the creation of great journalism. News Showcase is already delivering value for both users and publishers and we will continue to actively partner and solicit feedback to build on this effort.
News Showcase is just one of the numerous ways we work with news publishers to help them grow their business, their audience and their skills. Examples include Subscribe with Google, a product built for and with news publishers to make it easier to turn readers into loyal subscribers, as well as the Google News Initiative, where we provide a wide range of tools, training and grant funding. Over the years we’ve provided billions of dollars to support quality journalism and remain invested in contributing to a sustainable future for the news industry.