Google Tests Subscription Tool for Publishers

Google Tests Subscription Tool for Publishers

August 19th, 2017
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Changes coming around search results and potentially payments.New York

Times and Financial Times are first early testers.


														
							

Alphabet Inc.’s Google is developing new tools designed to boost subscriptions for news publishers. It follows a similar olive branch from Facebook Inc. to an industry that has seen the digital behemoths take over the online advertising market.

Google’s latest foray arrives on three fronts. The first is a revamp of its feature, called “first click free,” that allows readers to access articles from subscription publications through search. Google is also exploring publishers’ tools around online payments and targeting potential subscribers. It’s all part of Google’s broader effort to keep consumers and content-makers returning to the web, the lifeblood of its ads business.

Media companies are focused intently on online subscriptions as print ads shrivel and digital ad spending consolidates with Facebook and Google, which together this year will garner more than 60 percent of the $83 billion market, according to EMarketer.

Google’s version, called Accelerated Mobile Pages or AMP, enables news websites to load more quickly inside of search. With the new tools, Google is looking at ways to let publishers identify who may subscribe, determine how much readers would pay and speed up the process.

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