Google, Like Facebook, Unfurls Subscription Tool for Publishers
Alphabet’s Google is developing new tools designed to boost subscriptions for news publishers. It follows a similar olive branch from Facebook 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.
Initially, Google is testing the tools with New York Times Co. and the Financial Times. But Richard Gingras, Google’s VP for news, says the search giant is talking to dozens of other outlets as media companies move toward online subscription models.
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