Google has announced that it will pay out a sum as large as $1 billion to online news publications over a period of three years in licensing fees to promote quality journalism.

Search engine overlord and internet advertising giant Google has, for a long time, held a pretty ambiguous position when it comes to the online news realm. The company can effectively drive a large chunk of web traffic towards online news publishers by offering users to read a gist of the story on its homepage, ushering the user to get an in-depth understanding of the story by clicking on the main news link.

Google’s influence on the growth and sustenance of online publications over the years has forced companies to become dependent on the tech giant. This has lead companies to look for alternate revenue models in order to shrug off that sense of over-dependency.

However, Google does not want that, and has thus, come up with another feature in order to assist online publications, as well as a show of support for high-quality journalism in a struggling industry.

Through a post made on its blog site, CEO of Google, Sundar Pichai has announced that the search engine giant will pay out a sum close to 1 billion dollars to partnering news publishers in licensing fees, to create and supervise exclusive high-quality content to be published on Google News.

This comes after the company announced the Google News Showcase.

Google News Showcase

The stories curated and created by partnering publishing houses will be first made available on Android devices, and will slowly make the transition to Google News on iOS.

Sundar Pichai, calling it a “new kind of news experience,” has announced that the Google News Showcase will be first launched in Germany and Brazil before further expanding to other markets across the world.

The CEO has also announced that 200 publishers from Germany, Brazil, Australia, Canada, Argentina, and the United Kingdom have already penned deals with Google, with India, Belgium, and the Netherlands next on the list of potential expansions.

Google has announced that award-winning national publications such as Der Spiegel, Stern, Die Zeit, Folha de S.Paulo, Band, and Infobae alongside regionally popular titles such as El Litoral, GZH, WAZ, and SooToday will make up the first list of publications to go live with the company.

The company will be looking to capitalize on the quick one-click mobile news market to build its Google News Showcase, providing news stories in manageable portions for efficient urban reading.

From its 300 million news initiative, providing grants to journalists and journals worldwide to approving emergency funds, to struggling publishing houses and creating tools for carrying out journalistic work more efficiently, Google as an organization has forever lent a hand to the journalism sphere.

However, choosing Germany has one of the first bases of operation for the new feature has raised quite a lot of eyebrows as well as garnered significant appreciation from the journalism sphere, as the country was involved in a long-drawn-out lawsuit regarding copyright fees over how its content was being rehashed on Google. The tech giant, although won the case in court, but lost in the court of public opinion, with a number of antitrust allegations against the organization still running wild in the tech sphere.

The company has a lot riding on this initiative with the investment being its biggest-ever to date.

“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.”  the Google CEO wrote in his blog post.