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Google News will allow free access to paywalled articles from news sites

As part of its $1 billion investment in partnerships with news publishers, Google will start paying for some paywalled content for its News Showcase program. News Showcase, a new addition to Google News that launched in October, displays story panels curated by publishers — but its not available in the US yet.

News Showcase will “start offering people access to paywalled content in partnership with select news publishers,” says a Google blog post. Google will pay partners for limited access to paywalled content. To access that content, users will still have to register with the individual publishers.

Users in the US shouldn’t get too excited about free articles just yet. Google lists partnerships with publishers in several countries, but the US is not currently on the list. News Showcase went live in October in Brazil and Germany. Publications in other countries, including Argentina, Canada, France, UK, and Australia, have since signed on. “Conversations are underway in a number of other countries,” Google says.

Screenshot of a panel in the Google News app, showing several articles from a news site. A News Showcase panel. Image: Google

Google also announced a new kind of story panel, enabling individual publishers to display curated lists of important articles of the day. These selections will appear in user’s For You feeds, as well as a newly dedicated area within the Newsstand on Google News.

News Showcase was first launched for the Google News app on Android, and is now available on iOS. Google says it will be coming soon to news.google.com and Google Discover.

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