Google is in very early talks with publishers about paying a licensing fee for content that would be used in a premium news product, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter. Such a deal would mark a huge shift in Google’s relationship with the news media. Google directs traffic to news articles that it features on its search pages but publishers have long sought to receive compensation for content being used directly. Facebook said last year it would pay news organizations to license their headlines and story summaries for a news tab on the social network. Financial terms of a possible licensing agreement are not yet known, the Journal reported.
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