• Kyodo

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Google LLC expanded its News Showcase service to Japan on Thursday, enabling users to view headlines from more than 40 Japanese newspapers and news agencies that each collect a licensing fee from the tech giant.

Unlike news content that appears through Google searches, the service allows news organizations to curate and package their coverage on the News Showcase page or app.

The service, already provided in countries in Europe and South America, features national and local Japanese newspapers including The Asahi Shimbun, The Mainichi Shimbun, The Yomiuri Shimbun, The Chunichi Shimbun and Kyodo News, with selected content in multiple languages. Licensing fees are not disclosed.

The News Showcase is available on both desktop and smartphone platforms. Several headlines at a time are packaged by each news organization and link to the stories on their websites. Publishers who keep content behind a paywall can decide whether to allow free access to individual stories.

While Google generates massive search advertising revenue, newspaper publishers have struggled due to declines in print circulation and ad revenues in both their print and online offerings. The licensing program is expected to increase revenues and subscriptions for publications.

Google started the News Showcase program last October in Germany and Brazil. Currently, more than 1,000 news outlets such as Reuters and News Corp., the parent company of The Wall Street Journal among other major outlets, have joined the program in over a dozen countries.

The tech giant expects to pay $1 billion (¥109 billion) to news publishers around the world over the three years from Oct. 2020.

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