- In by-passing the ‘News Media Bargaining Code’ and negotiating commercial deals, Google has effectively made the media outlets reliant on them for brand awareness, traffic, subscriptions and analytics.
- Readers will benefit from relevant news, suggested new publishers and aggregated content.
- News Showcase provides Google with a new platform and new inventory to monetise.
You’ve got to hand it to them, Google has a knack of turning lemons into lemonade.
After threatening to withhold its search engine from Australians if the government’s proposed ‘News Media Bargaining Code’ came into law, Google’s dominant position in our search landscape now appears to be cemented with News Corp, Seven West Media, Nine Entertainment Co, Junkee Media, The Guardian and over 50 other Aussie publications partnering with Google on its News Showcase offering. In doing so, Google has by-passed the Morrison government’s proposed bill intervening in their relations with Australia’s major media players and avoided a scenario in which they would be made to pay for content displayed in search.
Google deemed the media code ‘unworkable’ for two main reasons. Firstly, they would have been liable to pay media outlets an undisclosed sum determined by a third party to feature their news articles; a sum which has been purported to be up to 20% of local ad revenue. The other main stumbling block was the government’s requirement that Google notify media outlets of algorithm changes days in advance, effectively forcing them to hand over Colonel Sander’s secret herbs and spice recipe. Google was having none of it and it looked as though Aussies were set to play DuckDuckGo or have a crack at Bing’ing it.
But, where there’s a will and a pack of the world’s cleverest minds on it, there’s always a way.