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Google To Allow Free Access To Some Paywalled News Outside US

As part of Alphabet Inc’s (NASDAQ: GOOG) (NASDAQ: GOOGL$1 billion investment in news, Google will start offering people access to paywalled content in partnership with select news publishers, the company said in a blog post.

What Happened: Google News Showcase will pay participating publishers to allow access to limited paywalled content but give users access to the content for free. According to the company, users will register with the news publisher, providing a way for the publisher to build a relationship with readers.

The number of news publications partnering with Google has doubled, and there are roughly 400 news publications in countries such as Germany, Brazil, Argentina, Canada, France, the United Kingdom, and Australia, with conversations underway in several other countries. It is not available in the U.S. thus far.

Google claims to display Showcase metrics in the search console so publishers will have more data to understand better which articles and topics users respond to.

News Showcase has expanded to Google News on iOS and will come to Google news web and Discover soon. 

Why It Matters: The partnership of big tech with news publishers in the U.S. and worldwide has been rocky. 

Many giant publishers have criticized the big tech companies for hurting conventional models that support quality journalism. New York Times Co (NYSE: NYT) recently pulled out of its partnership with Apple Inc’s (NASDAQ: AAPL) Apple News service. 

The Times claimed that collaboration with big tech companies has no upside, and it does not allow building relationships with readers and give little control over the business.

Social media giant Facebook Inc (NASDAQ: FB) is also testing a new feature that helps news publishers create a better experience for paying subscribers by linking their Facebook account with the partnering publishers.

Facebook claimed that the test group of subscribers who linked their accounts made an average of 111% more article clicks to publishers’ content. 

Price Action: Google Class C shares closed 1.66% higher at $1,827.95 on Wednesday and Class A shares closed 1.65%  higher at $1,824.97.

© 2020 Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.

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