It looks like Google is intensifying its efforts to accommodate the media. According to a report, the company is developing some tools which would help boost subscriptions for news publishers. The first feature reported to be receiving Google’s attention is the First Click Free feature, which allows people to get at articles from publications they subscribe to by way of Search. Also, Google is looking into publishers’ tools relating to online payments, and finding potential subscribers.
The goal of these plans is to keep both the consumers and the content producers online, thus enabling them feed into Google’s ad business. Now, according to Bloomberg, Google is testing these new tools with the New York Times and the Financial Times. Other news publishers will be added soon.
Part of Google’s testing process will include allowing readers to view pages that would otherwise not be possible to view due to paywalls. The company would offer such ages free of charge though the Accelerated Mobile pages platform. Google will also help some news publishers identify the kind of consumers to target for potential subscriptions through these AMP pages, and also determine how much the new audiences are willing to pay.
Right now, it is not clear whether Google would share any revenue generated from this venture with news publishers who are brought in to use these new tools. However, if Google can figure out a way to make this profitable for news publishers, it could result in a feed of popular articles from a lot of different publications.
Here’s a quote from Richard Gringras, Google’s vice president for news, on the subject:
“It’s clear from news publishers that they cannot live on advertising alone. But it’s also clear that we’re seeing a shift in a market. This is an area, clearly, where our knowledge about our users can be brought t bear. There is no singular subscription strategy that will work for each publisher.”