Google News In Shutting Down In Spain Because It Will Have To Pay Publishers For Content

Google News in Spain is closing next week.

The company announced the move on its blog, with Richard Gingras, head of Google News, explaining that a new Spanish law, coming into effect in January, requires papers to charge Google News for showing their stories – “even the smallest snippet”.

“We’ll remove Spanish publishers from Google News, and close Google News in Spain,” Gingras said.

He argued that “Google News creates real value for these publications by driving people to their websites, which in turn helps generate advertising revenues”, but because it does not generate any revenue, paying the publishers was unsustainable.

Here’s his full statement:

After 9/11, one of our engineers, Krishna Bharat, realized that results for the query “World Trade Center” returned nothing about the terrorist attacks. And it was also hard to compare the news from different sources or countries because every web site was a silo. That’s how Google News was born and today the service is available in more than 70 international editions, covering 35 languages.

It’s a service that hundreds of millions of users love and trust, including many here in Spain. It’s free to use and includes everything from the world’s biggest newspapers to small, local publications and bloggers. Publishers can choose whether or not they want their articles to appear in Google News — and the vast majority choose to be included for very good reason. Google News creates real value for these publications by driving people to their websites, which in turn helps generate advertising revenues.

But sadly, as a result of a new Spanish law, we’ll shortly have to close Google News in Spain. Let me explain why. This new legislation requires every Spanish publication to charge services like Google News for showing even the smallest snippet from their publications, whether they want to or not. As Google News itself makes no money (we do not show any advertising on the site) this new approach is simply not sustainable. So it’s with real sadness that on 16 December (before the new law comes into effect in January) we’ll remove Spanish publishers from Google News, and close Google News in Spain.

For centuries publishers were limited in how widely they could distribute the printed page. The Internet changed all that — creating tremendous opportunities but also real challenges for publishers as competition both for readers’ attention and for advertising Euros increased. We’re committed to helping the news industry meet that challenge and look forward to continuing to work with our thousands of partners globally, as well as in Spain, to help them increase their online readership and revenues.

The full statement’s here.

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