Already over 400 joining members for the Google News Showcase, the new Mountain View program that supports and finances quality journalism, and this could be one of the great phenomena of this just begun year. Let’s see what the latest information on the project is and what the effects it is producing for publishers and readers, with advantages and benefits for both.

The evolution of the Google News Showcase project

It was last October when the Californian company announced the launch of Google News Showcase, with an investment of 1 billion dollars to “help people find quality news” and “to contribute to the overall sustainability of our journalistic partners around the world”, as stated in the article by Alex Cox, Product Manager of News, which tells the latest news on this online experience, which becomes “increasingly useful for news publishers and users”.

News Showcase users can read content protected by paywall

The most important news concerns the possibility for readers to freely access news content protected by paywall: thanks to News Showcase, then, people can read articles that would otherwise be blocked and reserved for subscribers only.

Basically, Google will pay “participating partner newspapers to provide limited access to paywall-protected content for News Showcase users”, and in return users “will register with the news editor, providing a way for the publisher to build a relationship with readers”.

In this way, people will have free access to confidential news, of which they could usually only see a few lines of preview, while publishers will not lose the benefits that derive from the paywall, which “are a crucial part of profit strategies” for many businesses, and will still get new accounts through which to create a direct relationship with readers, to learn more about their customers.

Opportunità per le testate editoriali con News Showcase

Easier to find news from reliable sources

Some technical changes will allow readers to “find even more valuable content from the journalistic newspapers they trust”: from a graphical point of view, this means that the news will be grouped into “a new type of News Showcase panel, which includes a list of important articles selected daily” from the single preferred magazine. “The content will be selected by a special editorial staff and will be updated based on the preferences indicated by users“, explains Cox, and therefore “if a user follows a channel that covers his local news, he will find in the panel of daily updates on the most relevant news of that category, selected by the editorial staff”.

Moreover, all relevant and most important publications, both national and local, will also enter into a feed called For You and in an area of News Showcase within Newsstand on Google News” dedicated to the discovery of new publications that are not yet known or followed.

Come funziona il pannello di Google News Showcase

These updates to improve News Showcase go hand in hand with Google’s commitment to “offering quality news content to even more people”: this new news experience has also landed on the Google News app for iOS (after an initial launch reserved to Android devices) “and soon will arrive on news.google.com and in the Google Discover feed”, as well as shortly the “soon metrics of News Showcase in Search Console, to give publishers more data to better understand which articles and topics users respond to”.

The Google News Showcase project

Google News Showcase is, as mentioned, a new feature that allows the participating editorial publications to showcase their news and win new readers, thanks to improved, interactive and more attractive storytellings.

Readers, on the other hand, can benefit from access to content targeted on their preferences, from reliable and professional sources, so as to have a more in-depth view of complex issues and local, national and global news events.

The experience comes with a news screen put together by publishers (traditional and other purely digital publications), to which is added a panel that allows publishers themselves to edit a daily selection of their most important news, shown to users who follow such warheads.

More than doubled the joining members

As Alex Cox informs, “since the first launch of News Showcase in October, the number of publications from around the world that have signed has almost doubled” and now “there are almost 400 news publications in countries such as Germany, Brazil, Argentina, Canada, France, the United Kingdom and Australia“, with agreements ongoing in a number of other countries, which could then lead to a further extension of the project to the rest of the world, Italy included, already within the next few months.

The latest member partners include international newspapers such as “Le Monde, Courrier International, L’Obs, Le Figaro, Libération and L’Express in France, and Página12, La Gaceta and El Día in Argentina”, while the media partners in Germany and Brazil (the two countries in which the initiative was launched) have already seen a strong involvement of readers.

The article in fact reports the statements of two representatives of the local newspapers; in particular, José Roberto de Toledo, executive director of piauí, a national monthly magazine in Brazil, says that “News Showcase is a very important project to amplify our digital presence, because on the one hand it offers a new and important channel to allow more people to know the content produced by the magazine, and on the other hand offers us the financial conditions to invest even more in the production of content, to amplify our offer, with the aim of increasing the relevance and influence of piauí”.

Also positive was the opinion of Peter Neumann, Chief Digital Officer of VRM, a group of regional newspapers in Germany, which highlights the usefulness of the showcase to reach new segments of the public: “Google News Showcase gives us more opportunities to provide our users relevant news from their areas and has opened new target groups for our journalism, reaching a younger audience reading our news offerings more frequently and actively than others”. According to Neumann, what makes the difference are “the easy availability and the most attractive presentation of News Showcase panels, which help a lot in this regard”.

 

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