Google News Showcase begins to work in Spain, after the reopening of News last June. The company agrees to display items under license under European copyright law.

Sundar Pichai, CEO of Alphabet (Google parent company).AP PHOTO

Google launches Showcase in Spain. The information available from the main search engine, one of the great channels of entry to the media from all over the world, changes in substance and form from today. On the one hand, the agreements with publishers are extended with support for subscription information models (once little compatible with this technology company) and, on the other, the presentation of news in Google News and Google Discover is remodeled.

Showcase consists of a series of panels that highlight the most relevant information of a medium or, at least, that publication chooses to show users, with the striking novelty that the editorial brand appears with its header and with its logo present, unlike the hitherto usual intermingling of content according to positioning and algorithmic calculations. Thus, a communication medium selects around half a dozen articles, free access or linked to subscription, which are presented to the Internet user through specific spaces within Google News or Discover.

Until today, Spain had been left out of this content licensing program for publishers who already works in at least 18 countries and covers more than 1,700 headers. However, the focus of Showcase is regional and local, to the point that 90% of the media that are part lack a national character. In Spain, the project gets off the ground after signing agreements with 60 publishing groups and more than 140 publishers, established one by one separately and therefore in line with the Californian company’s global policy of avoiding as far as possible possible negotiation with the block publishers’ guild.

These negotiations are carried out for the sake of confidentiality but also to the detriment of a possible position of strength of the publishers, who talk one by one with Google; that yes, those of Mountain View offer a huge entrance door of online traffic and, with Showcase, perhaps also a reinforcement to the subscription systems that suppose the so-called payment walls. Google estimates that each month it sends more than 24 billion hits to news media websites around the world.

For their part, users now have more efficient access to sources or topics of interest, they estimate at Google, which emphasizes that readers will find content selected by the editors themselves and will have a diverse range of brands. informative.

Round trip from Google News

Showcase was released in late 2020; Although not in Spain, of course. In June of that year, Google had announced a program that would help “participating media outlets monetize their content through better ways of creating and distributing news that allow people to dig deeper into more complex stories, stay informed, and access a more complex story.” world of very diverse topics and interests”, with pioneering advances in Germany, Australia and Brazil.

The Spanish case is practically unique for Google News, the informative arm of the search engine (Discover focuses more on tastes and interests than on typical journalistic articles). Last June, Google News reopened in Spain, where it had been inactive since 2014 by decision of the company itself. The reform of the Intellectual Property Law of that time established an “inalienable” economic compensation right for publishers, a consideration that Google was totally opposed to, to the point of closing this service.

However, as this newspaper advanced, the new continental directive (emerged as a result of the proposal of the European Commission in 2015) has established some new common red lines for Google News and less restrictive than those marked by Spanish copyright, so that, what in other nations meant limiting the company’s use of publishers’ rights, in this country translated into a more lax and conducive framework for the reopening of Google News, as indeed happened. The company ensures that the media can now “freely decide how their content is located and monetized”, a letter of introduction in which Showcase is called to acquire prominence.

Source: www.elmundo.es

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J. A. Allen

Author, blogger, freelance writer. Hater of spiders. Drinker of wine. Mother of hellions.

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