Google takes new steps to boost subscriptions of news organisations, publishers
Google said it is enging the First Click Free policy which required publishers to provide a minimum of three free articles per day via Google Search and Google News.
- Google announced new steps to help struggling news organisations
- One of the features include first click free replacing flexible sampling
- They are building a suite of products and services to help news publishers reach new audiences, drive subscriptions and grow revenue
Google announced new steps to help struggling news organisations and will support their subscription businesses. One of the features include first click free replacing flexible sampling. This will help these publishers hurt shifting from print to digital to generate fresh revenues.
It said that publishers are in the best position to determine what level of free sampling works best for them. “So as of this week, we are ending the First Click Free policy, which required publishers to provide a minimum of three free articles per day via Google Search and Google News before people were shown a paywall,” said Richard Gingras, VP News, Google.
It said that in the longer term, they are building a suite of products and services to help news publishers reach new audiences, drive subscriptions and grow revenue.
“We are also looking at how we can simplify the purchase process and make it easy for Google users to get the full value of their subscriptions across Google’s platforms,” he added.
It said the ending of the First Click Free policy is informed by our own research, publisher feedback and months-long experiments with the New York Times and the Financial Times, both of which operate successful subscription services.
Gingras said that publishers generally recognise that giving people access to some free content is the way to persuade people to buy their product. The typical approach to sampling is a model called metering, which lets people see a pre-determined number of free stories before a paywall kicks in.
He further recommended the following steps for publishers. One being monthly, rather than daily, metering allows publishers more flexibility to experiment with the number of free stories to offer people and to target those more likely to subscribe. It said that for most publishers, 10 articles per month is a good starting point.
Gingras said that 'Try before you buy' underlines what many publishers already know—they need to provide some form of free sampling to be successful on the internet. If it’s too little, then fewer users will click on links to that content or share it, which could have an effect on brand discovery and subsequently may affect traffic over time.
Google will further give publishers subscription support and said that subscribing to great content should not be as it is today.
“Registering on a site, creating and remembering multiple passwords, and entering credit card information—these are all hassles we hope to solve,” he said.
In the first step they are taking the advantage of our existing identity and payment technologies to help people subscribe on a publication’s website with a single click, and then give them access to that content anywhere – whether it's on the publishers site or mobile app, or on Google Newsstand, Google Search or Google News.
“And since news products and subscription models vary widely, we are collaborating with publishers around the world on how to build a subscription mechanism that can meet the needs of a diverse array of approaches—to the benefit of the news industry and consumers alike,” he said.
They are also exploring how Google’s machine learning capabilities that can help publishers recognise potential subscribers and present the right offer to the right audience at the right time.
Gingras further added, “We are just getting started and want to get as much input from publishers—large, small, national, local, international—to make sure we build solutions together that work for everyone.”
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