Google is developing tools to help online news companies get people to give them money, as the Verge reports. It remains unclear how much of that money Google intends to keep for itself.
The plan is to make it harder for people who can pay to read without paying. The changes should come in September.
Arguably, companies like Google and Facebook are themselves responsible for robbing online news organizations of digital advertising dollars in the first place by chewing up 60 percent the market. That’s part of why news organizations need subscriber money so badly.
Since the internet virtually wiped out physical news subscriptions, news companies have had to hustle to find new sources of money while retaining their journalistic credibility. Many reputable news sites have put up pay walls, including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and the Financial Times. While non-subscribers are allowed to view a limited number of articles on these sites, only paying subscribers have full access to all articles.
Google’s plan includes allowing non-subscribing readers to access full articles if they arrive at the site via Google search. The plan also includes other strategies designed to bolster subscriber numbers. Overall, the effort is intended to make it easier and faster for readers to subscribe, partly by better targeting readers using Google’s tremendous stores of data.
As Bloomberg reported, the New York Times and the Financial Times are among the news organizations working with Google.
In February, the Wall Street Journal struck back at Google’s search results policies which it claimed “discriminated” against paid news organizations. Google’s policy is not to list search results which are hidden behind a paywall.
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