News publishers have been invited by Google take advantage of a free news player developed by its subsidiary Youtube.
Press Gazette asked Youtube what the “catch” was and they said there was not one. Publishers will apparently be allowed to keep full control and revenue on ads posted to the player.
Youtube does, however, hope that the player will leads to more news videos being played and shared on its network – with publishers then getting a share of the advertising (rather than all of it).
The move comes as Google faces proposed changes to copyright rules in Europe which could curb its ability to host news stories and videos.
The Player for Publishers has been built with help from members of Google’s Digital News Initiative, a €150m scheme whereby the web giant his handing out grants to help news publishers innovate.
Ben McOwen Wilson, director of content partnerships at Youtube, told Press Gazette: “We had some news print partners who were doing a lot of video for some time but it was definitely the case that we weren’t seeing the same level of development in news print video as we were with broadcasters.
“The DNI provided us that opportunity to sit down with those guys and ask ‘Why?’. Their response was we love the stickiness video brings to our platforms and it’s attractive to advertisers but what we have found difficult is that it’s complex and it’s expensive to maintain.”
According to Youtube, it can be embedded into websites and apps, tailored for branding and allows publishers to have total control over content and adverts, with all ad revenue going to publishers.
Wilson said the player had been “built out of the strength of the Youtube platform” and enabled publishers to focus on creating content rather than working on maintaining their own video players.
“They are more engaged with how they can use YouTube as a platform for news creation, searching and streaming,” he said.
“In taking away some of the background manual labour and by removing the need for investment around maintaining manual players what each of our partners has been able to do is concentrate on generating and creating video news.
“For us that is clearly interesting because there are people out there creating great video news, much of which ends up being shared and viewed on Youtube.”
Pilot partners involved in early testing include The Guardian, France24, Unidad Editorial (publishers of El Mundo) and Prisa in Spain, Dagbladet in Norway, ze.tt in Germany and Oe24 in Austria.
Tony Danker, chief strategy officer at Guardian News and Media, said: “As founding partners of the Google DNI project, we’re excited about the opportunities that the Player for Publishers pilot could provide.
“Testing is still ongoing but we are hopeful that this best-in-class player will enable us to showcase our award-winning video content to the full, providing our readers with the best possible user experience.”