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Google rolls out News Showcase in India, What is Google News Showcase?

Google News Showcase is rolled out in India with 30 news publishers, including national, regional and local news organisations.

The News Showcase partners with publishers to curate content which is displayed as story panels on Google’s News and Discover platforms. The product will initially be available in English and Hindi and will roll out to other languages later this year.

It also pays the publishers to license their content, providing limited access to pay-walled content for readers.

In India, Google has partnered with news organisations, including The Hindu Group, HT Digital Streams Ltd., The Indian Express Group, ABP LIVE, India TV, NDTV, Zee News, Amar Ujala, Deccan Herald, Punjab Kesari, The Telegraph India, IANS and ANI.

Globally, News Showcase is live in a few countries including Germany, Brazil, Canada, France, Japan, the U.K., Australia, Czechia, Italy and Argentina with 700 publishers.

“Today’s announcement comes at a particularly challenging moment in India, with Indians seeking out authoritative news and information as the COVID-19 crisis deepens,” said Brad Bender, VP, Product, News, Google.

Bender explained that the product was developed “in deep partnership and collaboration with publishers”. He said the idea was for users to be able to know a publishers content even when there is a paywall, “understanding that that journey can sometimes get broken when a user clicks on a panel and then maybe sees you know a paywall”.

Sanjay Gupta, vice-president, Google India said the present challenges mean it will “require really reimagining potentially the newsroom in this new world”. Gupta said the news showcase product will “help enable, and hopefully be the role of a catalyst, you can leave for the for the future of journalism news and media in a significant way”.

What is Google News Showcase?

It can be said that it is a Google new licensing program to support the news industry. It is Google’s $1 billion investment in partnerships with news publishers.

Google News Showcase is a new news experience that was launched in late 2020. Google News Showcase helps participating publishers share their expertise and editorial voice through an enhanced storytelling experience.

This experience lets readers dive deeper into more complex stories. It helps them stay informed on the issues and events that local, national, and global newsrooms highlight through their Google News Showcase panels.

Google News Showcase starts with publishers in a number of countries and regions around the globe, with more to follow soon.

“This financial commitment—our biggest to date—will pay publishers to create and curate high-quality content for a different kind of online news experience. Google News Showcase is a new product that will benefit both publishers and readers: It features the editorial curation of award-winning newsrooms to give readers more insight on the stories that matter, and in the process, helps publishers develop deeper relationships with their audiences,” said Google CEO Sundar Pichai last year in October.

“News Showcase is made up of story panels that will appear initially in Google News on Android. The product will launch soon on Google News on iOS, and will come to Google Discover and Search in the future. These panels give participating publishers the ability to package the stories that appear within Google’s news products, providing deeper storytelling and more context through features like timelines, bullets and related articles. Other components like video, audio and daily briefings will come next.” 

“This approach is distinct from our other news products because it leans on the editorial choices individual publishers make about which stories to show readers and how to present them,” his article about the initiative reads. 

Google News Showcase initiative builds on the existing news licensing program of google which is already paying publishers for quality journalism, and other news-related efforts like Subscribe with Google, Web Stories and audio news. Furthermore, the initiative will give readers more context and perspective on important stories in the news and drive high-value traffic to a publisher’s site.

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