Google to pursue licencing deals with Indian publishers: Sundar Pichai

Publishers in India have long been urging Google to come up with an egalitarian revenue share model

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Published: May 28, 2022 8:40 AM  | 2 min read
Sundar Pichai

Tech giant Google is pursuing licencing deals with publishers across the world including India, Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai has told the Indian media recently. He added that Google is working towards striking some of these conversations in India as well.

Pichai's comments will come as music to the ears of Indian publishers who have been urging Google to come up with an egalitarian revenue share model. Globally, Google has started paying publishers for content through licencing deals. In fact, countries like Australia and Canada have passed legislation to force platforms like Google to pay for content.

The Alphabet CEO also acknowledged the critical role news plays in India, particularly with the long heritage and the fact that it works in so many languages, including all the vernacular languages. “These things take time and so we are working through some of those conversations,” Pichai said.

On Tuesday, Google announced that it has signed deals with 80 media partners representing more than 130 publications for Google News Showcase, an online news experience programme. Launched last year in India with 30 publisher partners, Google News Showcase has completed one year in the country.

The tech giant's partners include Times Group, The Hindu Group, HT Digital Streams Ltd, Indian Express Group, ABP LIVE, India TV, NDTV, Zee News, Amar Ujala, Deccan Herald, Punjab Kesari, The Telegraph India, IANS, and ANI.

Apart from Google News Showcase, Google has also launched programmes like GNI Startups Labs, GNI Advertising Lab, and GNI Newsroom Leadership Program to help the Indian news industry.

In January, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) had ordered an inquiry against Google for alleged abuse of its dominant position in the digital advertising market on a complaint filed by the Digital News Publishers Association (DNPA) whose members include Dainik Bhaskar, India Today, NDTV, Hindustan Times, The Indian Express, The Times of India, Amar Ujala, Jagran New Media, Eenadu and Malayalam Manorama.

In an order dated 7th January, the commission directed the Director General (DG) to cause an investigation into the matter under the provisions of Section 26(1) of the Act. The commission had also directed the DG to complete the investigation and submit the investigation report within a period of 60 days from the date of receipt of the order.

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