Google inks commercial deal with Wikipedia to pay for content

Google inks commercial deal with Wikipedia to pay for content

share on


Tech giant Google has agreed to dish out dollars to pay for Wikipedia content displayed by its search engine. Google will be the Wikimedia Foundation’s first paying client. The Wikimedia Foundation is a charity that oversees Wikipedia which is currently constantly updated by volunteers and uses donations to keep it afloat.

The foundation added that the commercial agreement will not impact individual users.  Lane Becker, senior director of earned revenue at the Wikimedia Foundation said, “We’re thrilled to be working with Google as our longtime partners, and Google’s insights have been critical to build a compelling product that will be useful for many different kinds of organisations.” 

Google and the Wikimedia Foundation have worked together on a number of projects and initiatives. Content from Wikimedia projects helps power some of Google’s features, including being one of several data sources that show up in its knowledge panels. With the partnership, Wikimedia Enterprise will help make the content sourcing process more efficient.

Tim Palmer, managing director, search partnerships at Google said, “Wikipedia is a unique and valuable resource, created freely for the world by its dedicated volunteer community. We have long supported the Wikimedia Foundation in pursuit of our shared goals of expanding knowledge and information access for people everywhere. We look forward to deepening our partnership with Wikimedia Enterprise, further investing in the long-term sustainability of the foundation and the knowledge ecosystem it continues to build.” The deal mirrors some of the other recent news contracts Google has inked in recent times with news outlets in Europe.

Last year, Google agreed to pay Agence France-Presse (AFP) for news content. The partnership is for five years and comes after France enacted a copyright law that creates "neighbouring rights". The law requires big tech companies to enter into discussions with publishers that want a licencing payment.

Meanwhile, last year, the Wikimedia Foundation, formally launched its commercial product, Wikimedia Enterprise, for large-scale reusers and distributors of Wikimedia content. The opt-in product, operated by Wikimedia was created to help organisations easily reuse content from Wikipedia and Wikimedia projects at a high volume. Wikimedia Enterprise was also created to help diversify the foundation’s financial support, but is expected to be a small portion of the organisation’s revenue.

“In its 20 years, Wikipedia has grown to become one of the most trusted resources for knowledge in the world,” said Lisa Seitz-Gruwell, Wikimedia’s chief advancement officer. “As people and companies increasingly seek to leverage its value, we created Wikimedia Enterprise to address the growing number of ways people encounter Wikipedia content outside of our sites and further support our free knowledge mission.”

Seitz-Gruwell added that the product meets the growing needs of commercial content reusers, making it easier for people to discover, find, and share content from its sites, while also providing commercial companies an avenue to support and invest in the future of Wikimedia’s knowledge ecosystem.

The creation of Wikimedia Enterprise arose, in part, from the recent Movement Strategy – the global, collaborative strategy process to direct Wikipedia’s future by the year 2030 devised side-by-side with movement volunteers. By making Wikimedia content easier to discover, find, and share, the product speaks to the two key pillars of the 2030 strategy recommendations: advancing knowledge equity and knowledge as a service.

Related articles:
Google to fork out US$1bn in licencing payments to news publishers
Google relents, strikes deal to pay publishers for 'high-quality content'
Google halts First Click Free model for news publishers  
Google's new lab lends news publishers a hand in digital subscription
Analysis: Malaysian publishers voice their view on Google's possible exit from Australia
MY Newspaper Publishers Association pushes for 'joint efforts' as Google starts paying for quality content

share on

Follow us on our Telegram channel for the latest updates in the marketing and advertising scene.

Free newsletter

Get the daily lowdown on Asia's top marketing stories.

We break down the big and messy topics of the day so you're updated on the most important developments in Asia's marketing development – for free.

subscribe now open in new window