Google inaugurates a new stage with the media in Spain, with the launch of Showcase. This service offers users -through the Newsstand section of Google News- panels with the most relevant news from each media outlet, showing the logo of each one, selected by the editors themselves.
This novelty represents a significant change with respect to what was previously in place, where information from different media was intermingled according to web positioning criteria and algorithm calculations. From now on, the appearance of each media outlet in the Google News interface will depend on the algorithm, the user’s interests, the sources of information they usually consult and their geographical location.
Media and publishing groups that have joined Google Showcase.
Google Showcase is a new milestone reached by the technology giant in Spain, after reaching a heterogeneous agreement with 60 publishers – including Prisa, Unidad Editorial, Henneo, Atresmedia, Prensa Ibérica and Grupo Godó – representing more than 140 publications. These individual agreements provide for financial compensation from Google to each media outlet. In addition, it has agreed with paid subscription media, another compensation for offering access to some content in open access.
Google’s Country Manager for Spain and Portugal, Fuencisla Clemares, acknowledged yesterday at the tool’s launch event in Madrid that “we are satisfied with the reception this programme has received and we think it will help publishers to attract more traffic, obtain new audiences and enhance the value of their websites”, although she warned that “there is still a long way to go, we are far from finished, there are many challenges to overcome, but I am convinced that we are heading in the right direction”.
The personalisation of content and collaboration between media and departments are among the main ways to achieve sustainable and innovative journalism.
At the launch event, representatives of publishers defended their positions on innovation and sustainability in the sector. Marisa Manzano, Commercial General Manager at Prisa Media, acknowledged that “the media had been left behind. Technology and consumers have moved much faster than us and it has been difficult for us, in many cases, to adapt to this”, and defended that “we have a very interesting future in technology if we know how to use it. Content has to be liquid. We have to be able to see, read or listen to any content on any platform. The most difficult challenge, in his opinion, is to achieve “absolute personalisation of content so that it is the user who chooses what they want to consume, how they want to consume it and where they want to consume it at any time”.
In this sense, the general director of El Confidencial, Alejandro Laso, considers that it is necessary to “put the user at the centre, give them all the attention, with much closer journalism and increasingly higher quality content”. To achieve this, he argues that one of the formulas is collaboration between media “at the product level. It’s time to break down those walls that I don’t think do us any good as an industry. Together we can join forces”.
The Chief Digital Officer at Henneo, Miguel Madrid, said that “the model that started out as a free-for-all has become increasingly complex, and there are many different ways to generate revenue. For me, what is relevant in recent years is that we are going back to the origins, to the paid reader”. To adapt to the new times, Henneo’s digital manager advocates “looking for much more audiovisual formats, more multimedia. We are testing content for Youtube, Instagram and something on Tik Tok”.
The Product Manager at El Español considers it “essential to collaborate between departments. This motivates us to make joint decisions regarding new formats, podcasts, videos, social networks, which are necessary today”.
A representative of the regional press also took part in the round table moderated by the Director of Agencies and Strategic Relations of Google Spain, Celia Villalobos. Augusto González Pradillo, director of La Crónica de Guadalajara, stated that “what was paper journalism was a fiction, for many of us. We believed that we were the protagonists, that people went to the newsstands because they liked what we offered, but that was not a yardstick. Fortunately, digital put us in people’s pockets and helped us to measure how comfortable we were in people’s pockets, how useful we were to people.
The resounding return of Google News to Spain after eight years
Showcase is being implemented in Spain just three months after the reopening of its parent application, Google News, the world’s largest news showcase, eight years after the technology company decided to close it down because the reform of the Intellectual Property Law established an “unwaivable” right to financial compensation for publishers.
The director of Government Affairs and Public Policy at Google Spain and Portugal, Miguel Escassi, thanked the “regulatory dialogue” and the “support of institutions and public administrations”, which he believes are necessary to achieve public-private collaboration.
Google estimates that every month it sends more than 24 billion visits to news media websites around the world.