Google signs deal with Irish Examiner and other Irish media partners to promote news

Google signs deal with Irish Examiner and other Irish media partners to promote news

Google News Showcase launched in 2020, with more than 1,000 news publications signed to deals since its inception. File picture:vAP Ph/Jeff Chiu

A number of Irish media publishers, including the Irish Examiner and the Irish Timeshave signed agreements with Google to license their content for use on its new News Showcase platform.

Google announced this morning it had agreed terms with seven publishers – including the Irish Times Group, Journal Media, and regional publisher Celtic Media – representing nearly 40 publications, to provide licensed content for the service from later this year.

Google News Showcase launched in 2020, with more than 1,000 news publications signed to deals since its inception.

The move comes after protracted calls for social media and tech giants to pay for news content, which drives a considerable amount of their web traffic, and led to the Australian government mandating that such content had to be paid for in February of this year.

Liam Kavanagh, managing director of the Irish Times Group – publisher of the Irish Times, Irish Examiner, and The Echo newspapers among others – described the deal as “a welcome acknowledgement of the value of trusted news sources in modern democracies”.

“It means titles in the Irish Times Group have more support to provide high-quality, independent journalism to a wider audience,” Mr Kavanagh said.

The deal will see five news stories, and two news summaries, per relevant publication published to the News Showcase platform via each outlet’s individual feed on a daily basis in a manner akin to an RSS feed – used to manage online subscriptions for digital content such as podcasts – with Google paying a pre-agreed fee for the content provided, with each publisher retaining full editorial control.

Sums involved 'significant'

Details of the financial side of the various deals – which are understood to have been agreed with each publisher individually – were not publicly disclosed, though sources have indicated that the sums involved are “significant”.

A blog post authored by Anthony Nakache, Google’s managing director for EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Asia) partnerships, said the Irish deals will support publishers “by giving them a new way to curate their high-quality content on Google’s News and Discover platforms”.

“It is a big step forward,” said one media source. “It has established the principle in Ireland that big tech is now paying for content.” 

Despite this, a number of larger Irish media concerns have yet to sign up to the Google deal, including RTÉ, Independent newspapers publisher Mediahuis, and Kilkullen Kapital Partners, owners of the Business Post.

Mediahuis Ireland said this morning they are also in advanced discussions regarding participation in the Showcase platform subject to reaching final agreement on appropriate terms and conditions.

Colm O’Reilly, chief executive of the Business Post, confirmed the “ Business Post did have a preliminary conversation with Google earlier this year in relation to the Showcase platform but we are not currently engaged in an active dialogue”.

RTÉ had not immediately responded to a request for comment on the matter at the time of publication.

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