Breaking news today indicates Google has signed a new publishing framework agreement with some French newspapers and publications under a more general plan to start compensating print media publishers for content that goes on the Internet.
Reuters reports individual licensing agreements under contract at Google, and suggests other big tech companies may be looking at the plan as an example of how the new digital media landscape will work.
Reporter Mathieu Rosemain notes how many of these print publications have been suffering from a lack of revenue for their products in the new Internet age.
Google’s longer-term objectives in this area are characterized by a program called Google News Showcase that’s further described by Google CEO Sundar Pichai in an October blog post replete with anecdotal poignance:
“One of the most enduring memories of my childhood is waiting for my father and grandfather to finish the paper over breakfast every morning so that I could get the latest headlines, especially in the sports section,” Pichai begins. “To this day, my father still texts me whenever he sees something interesting in the news … I have always valued quality journalism and believed that a vibrant news industry is critical to a functioning democratic society.”
Going on to some remarks on Google’s commitment to information access, Pichai describes the Google News Showcase program this way:
“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.”
It’s good news for all of the bibliophile luddites that Pichai claims to identify with. It may also change the fortunes of tech stocks, or even smaller and more obscure equities tied to legacy publishers. Keep it in mind.