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Google to Pay to Showcase News in Canada

November 1, 2021


Google has recently launched its ‘News Showcase’ program in Canada, a licensing program whereby Google pays participating news outlets to select and feature some of their articles in a customizable, curated space in Google News. Under the arrangements, Google provides extended access to certain pay-walled articles, but only if Google assesses the user as likely to develop a relationship with the publisher.

Last year, in an effort to support a struggling news industry, Google earmarked more than USD $1 billion to develop its News Showcase program globally over a three-year period. At the time, Google dubbed the initiative its “biggest move yet to support the future of journalism.” According to Google, news outlets that decide to participate will benefit from the financial compensation as well as an increase in web traffic to their websites.

In Canada, publishers have long been lobbying governments and major tech companies to provide more financial support for journalism. In 2018, the Canadian Media Concentration Project reported that Google cornered half the country’s internet advertising market share. Google further revealed that it generated $9 million in revenue from clicks on advertisements through news-related searches in Canada in 2019.

Google’s News Showcase program may constitute, in part, an attempt to rectify this earning disparity. However, many details of the licensing agreements, including the amount Google pays to each publisher, remain unknown. So far, Google has announced partnerships with 11 national and local news outlets in Canada, including the Globe and Mail, Torstar, Winnipeg Free Press, and Narcity. Sabrina Geremia, Google Canada’s vice-president and managing director, said in an interview that she hopes the momentum continues: “Of course, we want more eligible folks to be part of this.”

By: Luke Devine


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