'Google paying for app content, not search' says local chief

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Don't confuse news that Google plans to pay select publishers for news with the idea that they might cough up for the snippets which appear in news searches.

Google ANZ managing director Melanie Silva (left) has confirmed that the cash payments - including to three Australian publishers - are limited to a new app which Google will launch next year.

"This is a completely new product, where we're paying for a much richer storytelling experience," she told News Corp national daily the Australian. "We're paying for access to content that makes it behind a paywall, but it's a completely different product to search."

News' Australasian executive chairman Michael Miller says the clarification confirms the deals struck with small publishers "are not a genuine recognition of the need to pay for the content they take and profit from on their main platform."

He accused the search giant of taking advantage of publishers "when they are at their most vulnerable".

News is advocating a code of conduct to address the power imbalance between the platforms and publishers, which he says would protect news creators from "this kind of behaviour".

Google announced last week that it had reached Solstice Media - of which industry veteran Eric Beecher (right) is chairman - Schwartz Media and The Conversation in Australia, Germany's Spiegel Group (publisher of Der Spiegel) and Brazilian media company Diarios Associados.

Google still claims it provides value to publishers through search traffic.

Analysis from Nieman Lab was headlined, 'Google paying publishers' is more about PR than the needs of the news industry". Enough said.

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