Google has signed a three-year agreement to carry content from News Corp publications. In the US, UK and Australia, Google’s News Showcase will now feature stories from The Wall Street Journal, MarketWatch and other outlets. The financial terms of the deal weren’t disclosed, but News Corp described the payments it will receive from Google as “significant.” Additionally, it said the web giant would share ad revenue, invest in audio and video content from its publications as well as develop a subscription platform as part of the agreement.
To say this is an unlikely alliance would be an understatement. The Murdoch-owned News Corp has frequently criticized Google, even going so far as to call on regulators to break up the company. But for Google it is in some ways an agreement of necessity.
In Australia, the federal government is considering legislation that would force the company and other online platforms to pay publishers when they display and link to their content. Google has called the legislation “unworkable” and said it would stop offering its search engine in Australia if the new code of conduct were to become law. For their part, Australian politicians have mostly shrugged off Google’s more severe threats. And so more recently, the company has tried a different approach. By coming to agreements with publishers, Google has tried to show that the proposed legislation is unnecessary.