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By Wiliam Turvill, Press Gazette

Armed with a $1bn budget to pay publishers for the use of their content, Google unveiled Showcase nearly 15 months ago.

The programme has gone live in 14 countries and has more than 1,000 publication partners, including leading titles in the UK, Canada, Australia and Germany.

But the service has yet to launch in Google’s native, and most important, market – the United States.

Why the delay? An investigation by Press Gazette, based on conversations with ten sources from the US news industry, has found:

– Several large publishers are underwhelmed, and some “offended”, by Google’s Showcase payment offers

– Major metropolitan news brands are being offered as little as $200,000 a year to partner with Google – sources we spoke to said the payments should be five, ten or 20 times the size

– Publishers are concerned by a contract clause stating that they agree Google does not owe them any money for their content beyond Showcase payments

– Publishers are skeptical about the quality and discoverability of Showcase, doubting its potential to help them find new readers and subscribers

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