In a bid to support the news publishing industry that's seemingly in constant financial crisis, Google has stepped up its commitment to the new News Showcase carousels with new placements and incentives to get readers engaged, including a way to swerve around paywalls.
The News Showcase program, which provides a greater spotlight on articles from traditional publishers, started in October with about 200 partner organizations in Canada, Australia, Europe, and South America and has since nearly doubled in rank. It already appears in search results and users' Discovery feeds but will soon spread to Google News iOS app and news.google.com.
Publishers now have access to a new type of carousel panel which lets them curate an assortment of stories based on a certain topic such as locality or the coronavirus pandemic. These panels can be see in the "For you" tab.
Finally — and most important to consumers — Google has announced that it will subsidize access to some paywalled pieces through News Showcase. In exchange, though, those readers will need to register an account at the publisher's site if they haven't already.
All of these measures are in place to encourage lengthier read sessions and cater to audience habits — that is, not paying to access information that may sometimes be acquired at great cost. Google also looks to placate Australian media observers as the government considers whether to make online platforms pay to feature articles from the nation's publishers.