Google today announced the launch of its curated online news experience and licensing program, Google News Showcase, in Bulgaria. The program is designed to support a healthy, independent, and diverse news ecosystem, and aims to help news partners reach new audiences and expand their online presence.
Several media publishers in Bulgaria have joined Google News Showcase, including 24Chasa Group, BTV Media Group, Bulgarian National Radio, DIR.bg, Economedia, Investor Media Group, Mediapool, Nova Broadcasting Group, Offnews, Rezon Media Group, Sportal Media Group, and Web Media Group.
Participating publishers in Bulgaria will create News Showcase panels, providing additional ways for readers to engage with the news and directing them to full articles on publishers' websites. These panels have started rolling out on Google News on Android, iOS, and the web, as well as in Discover on iOS and Android.
News Showcase publishers have the option to enable a feature where Google pays for readers' access to a limited amount of their paywalled content, potentially encouraging more subscriptions.
Globally, Google has signed News Showcase deals with over 2,500 publications, and the product is live in 24 countries, including the United States, France, Spain, Poland, Slovakia, Germany, Ireland, Portugal, the United Kingdom, Italy, Austria, Romania, and Slovenia.
The launch in Bulgaria follows Google's ongoing collaboration with the country's news industry, involving projects focused on tackling misinformation, evolving business models, and promoting innovation. These initiatives include expanding Factcheck.bg, collaborating with the Association of European Journalists in Bulgaria, and conducting AI design sprint training and workshops.