By Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg and Lillian Rizzo
News Corp is developing a news-aggregation service meant to address concerns that Alphabet Inc.’s /zigman2/quotes/202490156/composite GOOGL +0.04% /zigman2/quotes/205453964/composite GOOG +0.05% Google News and other digital platforms don’t reward publishers’ work adequately and play down articles from certain types of sites, according to people familiar with the plans.
The service, currently called Knewz.com, is expected to be a website and a mobile app. An early version is being shown to a small group of News Corp executives and an official launch could come later this year, though no specific timeline has been set, the people said. The company could still decide not to proceed with the project, they said.
The service will draw from hundreds of news sources, including national outlets such as The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Washington Post and NBC News, digital-native players, magazine publishers and local newspapers, the people said. News Corp /zigman2/quotes/201755982/composite NWSA -0.80% owns Dow Jones & Co., which publishes The Wall Street Journal and MarketWatch.
The articles on Knewz.com will link directly to publishers’ sites, and News Corp won’t take a cut of the advertising revenue the articles generate. News Corp also expects to share data with those publishers. The service will aim to promote original news reports rather than those that are quick rehashes of existing articles, and it will treat subscription news sites the same as nonsubscription sites in determining which articles to link to, the people familiar with the plans said. The project aims to give exposure to smaller outlets that News Corp executives believe are often demoted in Google’s search results and Facebook Inc.’s social feed, the people said.
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