Google has announced big details about its upcoming Google News Showcase today, the company’s upcoming program in which it committed to pay news publishers $1 billion to license their content for a new format in Google News.
The most noteworthy announcement in the service is that Google will allow it’s visitors to read select paywalled articles for free. But the company notes that those users will, however, still needs to register directly with the publishers that Google says will give them a new method to build relationship with its readers.
Google News Showcase program is essentially story panel, and Google says it has introduced a new panel allowing publishers to curate a daily selection of the most important stories. Those panels will be shown to users who follow those publishers.
Google News started out on Android and it is now available on iOS as well, with plans to expand to the news.google.com website and Discover soon. Google says it has doubled the number of partners to about 400 since it’s launch in October that includes new names Le Monde, Courrier International, L’Obs, Le Figaro, Libération and L’Express in France, plus Página12, La Gaceta and El Día in Argentina.
Similarly, Facebook has also been experimenting its ways to present paywalled content, in its case by linking Facebook accounts to news subscriptions.
Google News Showcase is currently available in Germany, Brazil, Argentina, Canada, France, U.K. and Australia where the company has faced legal challenges and antitrust scrutiny.