Google Paying Publishers To Generate Content for Stamp

Google is working on its own version of a multimedia format pioneered by Snap, and it wants publishers to help. So Google is giving them an incentive: The search giant is paying some sites working on its new "Stamp" project, a move sources say is intended to defray the costs publishers incur as they build content and systems to accommodate the new format.

It's unclear how much Google is paying individual publishers. One executive I talked to said the fee covered the costs of "multiple expensive people" working for several months on the project. Another described the payment as "de minimus."

Google is working with multiple publishers on Stamp, which was supposed to debut this month to a small subset of mobile users but may be delayed. Sources say participating publishers include Conde Nast, Hearst, Time Inc., Mashable, Mic.com, CNN, The Washington Post and Vox Media, which owns this site.

A Google rep declined to comment.

Google has spent money to encourage content makers before. In 2011 and 2012, its YouTube service spent hundreds of millions of dollars to encourage video makers to create more "professional" content. Facebook has also paid video creators to make live and on-demand content.

Publishers who are working on Stamp describe it as multimedia slide format, optimized for phones, that's supposed to surface at the top of Google's search results but would also live on their own sites. It can accommodate video, images and text, and users can advance through slides by swiping or tapping through, similar to Snap's Discover and Instagram's Stories.

Stamp is supposed to be built on the open-source, fast-loading "AMP" mobile format Google rolled out a couple years ago. But publishers say they have needed to assign staff to create new content for the format, and also to create their own publishing systems to upload the content...

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