Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp said it reached a three-year pact with Google under which the publisher will provide news content from sites worldwide to the internet giant in return for “significant payments by Google.”
Among the News Corp sites joining the Google News Showcase are the Wall Street Journal, Barron’s, MarketWatch and the New York Post; the U.K.’s the Times and Sunday Times and the Sun; and in Australia, publications including the Australian, news.com.au, Sky News, and several metropolitan and local titles.
The deal comes after Google last month threatened to pull its search service out of Australia, following the government’s plans to enact legislation that would require tech platforms to pay for news. Instead, Google has been proactively reaching deals with news providers — with News Corp the latest, and biggest, partner so far.
Google late last year launched a “new news experience,” dubbed Google News Showcase, for which it is paying some publishers of “high-quality content” under a new licensing program. Earlier this week, Google inked deals similar to the News Corp arrangement with Australian TV broadcasters Seven West Media and Nine Entertainment.
In addition to Google’s payments to News Corp, the agreement between the two companies includes the development of a subscription platform by Google; the sharing of ad revenue via Google’s ad technology services; and “meaningful investments in innovative video journalism” by YouTube.
For years, News Corp had complained that Google (and other tech platforms) were profiting off its original content without providing any compensation. News Corp CEO Robert Thomson said in a statement Wednesday that the new deal will have “a positive impact on journalism around the globe as we have firmly established that there should be a premium for premium journalism.”
Thomson added, “I would like to thank [Alphabet and Google CEO] Sundar Pichai and his team at Google who have shown a thoughtful commitment to journalism that will resonate in every country. This has been a passionate cause for our company for well over a decade and I am gratified that the terms of trade are changing, not just for News Corp, but for every publisher.”
The News Corp-Google deal would not have been possible “without the fervent, unstinting support of Rupert and Lachlan Murdoch, and the News Corp board,” according to Thomson. The CEO also thanked the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s Rod Sims as well as Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and treasurer Josh Frydenberg “who have stood firm for their country and for journalism.”
Google says it has signed up more than 450 publications as partners for Google News Showcase. Those include the Financial Times, New Statesman and the Telegraph in the U.K., Le Monde in France, Der Spiegel in Germany, and Reuters. It also has signed deals with several Australian publishers including Crikey, the Conversation, the New Daily and regional newspapers from Australian Community Media.