Google launches its News Showcase program in France

It will give users free access to some paywalled content from partner publications.

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Google has launched News Showcase in France, and it has teamed up with over 65 publishers representing over 130 publications for the program's expansion in the country. Now, users in France will see panels populated by articles from participating publications when they navigate to the News tab on Android, iOS or the web and in Discover on the mobile platforms. The tech giant says its partners include not just national outlets, but also regional and local ones, including 20 minutes, La Dépêche, L’Equipe, L'Express, Le Figaro, La Provence, Le Monde, Les Echos, Groupe EBRA and Le Parisien.

In addition to showing a curated selection of headlines from partner outlets, Google is also making "a limited amount" of their paywalled content available to readers for free. The company is paying them for those paywalled articles as part of their licensing agreement. And since the deal would put the publications' content in front of more people, it could gain them more potential subscribers.

While Google's program partners praised News Showcase for helping them disseminate good and truthful information, the company didn't always have a great relationship with the media in France. In 2020, French regulators forced the tech giant to pay publishers for showing snippers their articles in search results after the company implemented the EU's new "Copyright Directive" law. Authorities said back then that the company "caused a serious and immediate harm to the press sector." Google initially removed news previews as a response, but it backtracked and started working with publishers instead. Earlier this year, the tech giant inked deals with over 300 publications across Europe to publish snippets of their stories in search.