Google has at times been at odds with news publishers over the years, but is now trying to smooth things over to the tune of $1 billion.
Google has long been accused of using its search dominance to strong-arm news publishers into letting it use their content without compensation. Google has claimed news publishers benefit far more than Google does by linking to and using their content. In contrast, both Apple and Facebook pay publishers for their news. Recent regulation, however, has increasingly put the pressure on Google to make adjustments.
In a blog post, CEO Sundar Pichai highlighted Google’s strategy change:
It’s equally important to Google’s mission to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful. Over the last several years, we’ve taken many steps to support the news industry, from sending 24 billion visits to news websites globally every month, to the Google News Initiative’s $300 million commitment, including emergency funding for local publishers globally to help with the impact of COVID-19 and our Digital Growth Program aimed at small and medium-sized publishers to accelerate their business growth.
But there is more to do. Today I’m proud to announce Google is building on our long-term support with an initial $1 billion investment in partnerships with news publishers and the future of news.
This is a welcome development for publishers and may also help the company answer increasing allegations it is improperly using its search monopoly.