Google has announced to start offering people access to paywalled content in partnership with select news publishers, as part of $1 billion News Showcase initiative launched two months ago.
The tech giant said that its media partners in Germany and Brazil, the two countries currently live with News Showcase, have already seen strong reader engagement.
"Paywalls are a crucial part of some publishers' revenue strategies. To support that goal, we will pay participating partners to provide limited access to paywalled content for News Showcase users," said Alex Cox, Product Manager, News.
"In return, users will register with the news publisher, providing a way for the publisher to build a relationship with readers", he said in a blog post late on Wednesday.
Since its launch, the number of publications from around the world which have signed on for News Showcase has nearly doubled.
There are now close to 400 news publications in countries such as Germany, Brazil, Argentina, Canada, France, UK and Australia, and conversations are underway in a number of other countries, Cox informed.
Google said that as part of new update, a new type of News Showcase panel includes a list of important articles selected daily by favourite publishers.
For example, if a user follows a news outlet that covers their local news, they will see daily updates on the most important local stories, selected by that newsroom.
"Relevant publications, both national and local, will also now be shown within the For You feed, plus in a dedicated area to discover new News Showcase publications within Newsstand on Google News".
Google said the aim is to bring quality news content to more people.
"News Showcase has expanded to Google News on iOS and it will be coming to news.google.com and Discover soon," Cox said.
News Showcase metrics will soon appear in Search Console so publishers will have more data to better understand which articles and topics users are responding to.
News Showcase is also helping publishers reach new audiences.
"The product has opened up new target groups for our journalism, reaching younger audiences who read our news offerings more frequently and actively than others," said Peter Neumann, Chief Digital Officer of VRM, a regional newspaper group in Germany.