Google creates $82M ‘Digital Publishing Innovation Fund’ for French publishers

google to roll out high speed wi fi at rail stations across india officeWhat’s the best way to try and smooth relations over with angry publishers? If you’re Google, and the publishers are upset that their content is being indexed by your Web spiders for free, the answer is apparently very simple: Throw money at the publishers. Call me cynical, but that’s undoubtedly the thinking in a recent announcement that the search giant was creating a €60 million (approximately $82 million USD) Digital Publishing Innovation Fund to help the publishers monetize their content.

On Google’s official company blog last Friday morning, executive chairman Eric Schmidt said that “a healthy news industry is important for Google and our partners, and it is essential to a free society.” He went on to list the ways in which the company has tried to help the news industry remain healthy in the past. “Google has worked with news publishers around the globe for years to help them make the most of the web,” he explained, pointing out that the company’s Web searches generate “billions of clicks each month.” When you take that in conjunction with its advertising solutions, the project could generate additional revenue outside of the traditional funding streams journalism has used in the past. Furthermore, he added that the launch of Google Play gave publishers new way to make money, “including through paid subscriptions.”

That, however, was just the preamble to the company’s latest investment in journalism, which comes in two different flavors. “First, Google has agreed to create a €60 million Digital Publishing Innovation Fund to help support transformative digital publishing initiatives for French readers,” Schmidt wrote, with the second element described as a “deepening” of the company’s partnership with French publishers “to help increase their online revenues using our advertising technology.”

Schmidt positioned both announcements as continuations of “the commitments we made in 2011 to increase our investment in France – including our Cultural Institute in Paris to help preserve amazing cultural treaures such as the Dead Sea Scrolls.” Still, the truth is somewhat more complicated; the agreement represents a compromise for the company, whose initial offer of a €50 million investment was refused late last year by a coalition of French news publishers who demanded something closer to €70-100 million instead. Even the distribution of the funds was an issue of debate between the parties before Friday’s announcement.

Schmidt may have written that the agreements “show that through business and technology partnerships we can help stimulate digital innovation for the benefit of consumers, our partners and the wider Web,” but the reality is that these agreements are less bridge building as damage control – and may still not be enough to completely calm the anger felt against Google by the publishers they’re seeking to please.


From PUBG to Apex Legends, this is how battle royale happened

Battle royale games like PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds’ and Fortnite have become the biggest trend in video games. The genre is also pushing the envelope in Twitch streaming and eSports.
Home Theater

Spotify adds mystery and crime to its podcast arsenal with Parcast acquisition

Spotify continues to add to its growing collection of podcasting assets, with its acquisition of Parcast, a podcast studio known for its lurid, true-crime and mystery titles, that have garnered a significant audience.

Apple News Plus gives you access to more than 300 magazines for $10 per month

At Apple's services event, the company unveiled a new news subscription service called Apple News Plus. The service gives you access to more than 300 magazines and newspapers and costs $10 per month.
Emerging Tech

Microsoft’s latest breakthrough could make DNA-based data centers possible

Could tomorrow's data centers possibly store information in the form of synthetic DNA? Researchers from Microsoft have successfully encoded the word "hello" into DNA and then back again.

Want to save a webpage as a PDF? Just follow these steps

Need to quickly save and share a webpage? The best way is to learn how to save a webpage as a PDF file, as they're fully featured and can handle images and text with ease. Here's how.

Delete tracking cookies from your system by following these quick steps

Cookies are useful when it comes to saving your login credentials and other data, but they can also be used by advertisers to track your browsing habits across multiple sites. Here's how to clear cookies in the major browsers.

You can now listen to Google Podcasts on your desktop without the app

The Google Podcasts app is no longer entirely necessary to listen to the podcasts it offers. With a simple tweak of the sharing URL, you can listen to a Google Podcasts podcast on your desktop or laptop without the app.
Social Media

A Facebook, Instagram bug exposed millions of passwords to its employees

Facebook, Facebook Lite, and Instagram passwords weren't properly encrypted and could be viewed by employees, the company said Thursday. The network estimates millions of users were affected.

Get ready to say goodbye to some IFTTT support in Gmail by March 31

If This Then That, the popular automation service, will drop some of its support for Gmail by March 31. The decision comes as a response to security concerns and is aimed to protect user data.

Worried about your online privacy? We tested the best VPN services

Browsing the web can be less secure than most users would hope. If that concerns you, a virtual private network — aka a VPN — is a decent solution. Check out a few of the best VPN services on the market.

Drunk shoppers spend $48B per year while intoxicated, mostly on Amazon

Drunk shoppers spend more than $400 per year, according to the results of a survey carried out by The Hustle. The drunk shopping industry is apparently worth $48 billion, and Amazon is turning out to be the biggest beneficiary.

Our favorite Chrome themes add some much-needed pizzazz to your boring browser

Sometimes you just want Chrome to show a little personality and ditch the grayscale for something a little more lively. Lucky for you, we've sorted through the Chrome Web Store to find best Chrome themes available.

Need a free alternative to Adobe Illustrator? Here are our favorites

Photoshop and other commercial tools can be expensive, but drawing software doesn't need to be. The best free drawing software is just as powerful as some of the more expensive offerings.
Movies & TV

Apple’s next big event is minutes away: Here’s what you can expect

Apple's next big event takes place on March 25 in Cupertino, California. The company is expected to make several announcements related to its services, including Apple TV, so follow our guide to get ready for the big event.