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Google will license high-quality news content from Irish publishers for News Showcase
Google has announced that it has signed agreements with Irish news partners, including The Irish Times, as part of a new initiative to support Irish media.
Seven publishers are taking part, including Celtic Media and the Journal, representing almost 40 publications with a mix of local, regional and national news organisations from across Ireland.
Google will license high-quality news content from these publishers for News Showcase, its new product experience and licensing programme for news.
News Showcase pays publishers for the use of high-quality content and is a continuation and expansion of previous programmes such as the Google News Initiative. Google plans to roll out the initiative to readers in Ireland in the coming months.
Liam Kavanagh, managing director of The Irish Times, said the agreement with Google was “a welcome acknowledgement of the value of trusted news sources in modern democracies”.
“It means titles in The Irish Times Group have more support to provide high-quality, independent journalism to a wider audience,” he said.
The Irish Times Group has agreed terms with Google which will allow access to content from all titles in the group available through Google News Showcase when it launches in the Irish market later this year.
Mr Kavanagh said the agreement provides for a daily content feed from each group title. Google will pay a pre-agreed fee for the content provided and published on News Showcase.
“This is a significant development for the Irish Times Group and for the Irish media industry,” he said.
“The agreement with Google establishes the principle of a payment to publishers for content provided. The Irish Times Group is the largest Irish-owned indigenous media group and one of seven publishers to participate in Ireland.
“The agreement places a value on our content published on the search platform overall and enables the group’s content to reach new audiences.”
Within The Irish Times Group, the agreement covers The Irish Times, The Irish Examiner, The Echo, Breaking News, Waterford News & Star, Carlow, Laois & Kildare Nationalist, Roscommon Herald and Western People titles.
The agreement comes into effect on the launch of Google News Showcase in the last quarter of 2021. “It is important to note that we retain full editorial control of all content published on the platform,” added Mr Kavanagh.
“This is a welcome initiative which has resulted from several months of careful consideration and in-depth discussion by an internal project team, supported by legal advice.
“Our engagement with Google will allow us to reach a wider audience with our content. Significantly, it provides a new licence fee income stream, which will help us to further invest for the future.”
Google News Showcase is supported by Google’s $1 billion global investment in news.
Nearly 1,000 news publications globally have signed deals for News Showcase since last year, in countries including India, Germany, Brazil, Canada, France, Italy, Australia, Czechia, Japan, Colombia, the UK, Austria and Argentina.
In Ireland, Google said it supports news publishers in a number of ways, including innovation funding and training, as well as products like Google News and Search which send valuable traffic to news sites.
Google director of online partnerships in Europe the Middle East and Asia, Anthony Nakache, said the company was “excited” to announce the new agreements with “these established, household titles of Irish media”. He said Ireland would be one of the first countries in Europe to roll out News Showcase.
“Google is committed to supporting a sustainable news model for publishers across the globe and in Ireland, we look forward to working collaboratively with the publishers to help further connect their news stories and content to their readership,” he said.
He also said the deal would expand on the company’s “mission to help people access trustworthy information online and to support an open web for all”.
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