Google Blog: “Journalism provides accurate and timely information when it matters most, shaping our understanding of important issues and pushing us to learn more in search of the truth. People come to Google looking for high-quality content, and our job is to help them find it. However, sometimes that content is behind a paywall. While research has shown that people are becoming more accustomed to paying for news, the sometimes painful process of signing up for a subscription can be a turn off. That’s not great for users or for news publishers who see subscriptions as an increasingly important source of revenue. To address these problems we’ve been talking to news publishers about how to support their subscription businesses with a focus on the following:
- First, Flexible Sampling will replace First Click Free. 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.
- Longer term, we 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.
Our goal is to make subscriptions work seamlessly everywhere, for everyone…”
See also via the New York Times – Google Unveils Tools to Increase Subscriptions for Publishers