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Google saves face by launching its News Showcase in Australia

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Google News Logo LifestyleSource: Jordan Palmer / Android Central

What you need to know

  • Google has launched a News Showcase in Australia, which will pay publications to provide curate content for Google's news outlets.
  • The move comes just after the company threatened to leave Australia over its new media laws.
  • The initiative was announced last year and saw Google investing around $1 billion to several countries involved in the program.

Today Google is announcing the launch of its News Showcase in Australia, which has already kicked off in several countries including Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Japan, and the UK. News Showcase is a collection of curated content from trusted news outlets that will be featured in the Google News app and other spaces. The program sees Google paying media outlets from several different countries for this content, stemming from a billion-dollar investment in the initiative. The company states that this initial version will roll out in Australia today with a handful of news media companies, as the company continues to work on and improve the experience with more publications.

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Google News Showcase

Google News ShowcaseSource: Google

News Showcase will be available on several platforms, including the Google News app on Android, iOS, and the mobile web. The company states that it plans to expand it to more places such as the Discover Feed on Android, which is available on devices like the Pixel and will soon come to the best Samsung phones.

We developed News Showcase in close collaboration with our news publisher partners in Australia, who have contributed valuable feedback and input on product features that will help connect readers to their journalism. We're confident that News Showcase offers a fair, practical way forward for publishers to generate revenue by curating and featuring their content on this product.

The news represents a surprising turn of events after Google recently threatened to pull Search out of Australia

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. The company has openly criticized the country's proposed News Media Bargaining Code that requires large tech companies to pay media outlets for news, while also requiring companies to be upfront about changes that could affect news rankings. Google has called the law "unfair" and reportedly put Australia's involvement in the News Showcase licensing program on pause.

This isn't the first time Google had to save face amid disputes over media compensation. Recently Google was involved in a public spat in France over similar matters, which was recently resolved as the company agreed on a process to pay French news outlets for content.

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