Google is allegedly planning to launch its own news aggregation service that will compete directly with Apple News.
The Wall Street Journal reported this morning that Google has been in talks with multiple publishers about paying a licensing fee for content used in its upcoming news product. So far it sounds like the company is mostly talking to publishers outside the US, but the company says it views the initiative as an important tool for an informed democracy.
“We want to help people find quality journalism – it’s important to informed democracy and helps support a sustainable news industry,” said Richard Gingras, VP of news at Google. We care deeply about this and are talking with partners and looking at more ways to expand our ongoing work with publishers, building on programs like our Google News Initiative.”
Google has been under pressure for years to lend more financial support to news organizations. The company’s search engine displays content generated by publishers but doesn’t provide any compensation other than more traffic.
Google News+ on the way
Details on the news service are reportedly still being ironed out but WSJ‘s sources claim it will be a free service. Talks are being held with companies in France and other countries in Europe.
Apple launched its Apple News+ service last year. Priced at $9.99 per month, Apple News+ gives subscribers access to over 300 newspapers and magazines such as Vogue, National Geographic Magazine, People, ELLE, The Wall Street Journal and Los Angeles Times. Apple hasn’t revealed total subscriber numbers but a report late last year claimed growth has been pretty slow.
Google would become the third major tech company to pay licensing fees to new orgs. Facebook said last year that it plans to pay publishers to show content in its upcoming news aggregation service.