Google introduced a new program that allows users to subscribe to news sites. The benefit to users is they no longer have to juggle between different passwords and logins for all the different sites they subscribe to. News sites benefit because this makes the process of subscribing easier, what is increasingly being called frictionless.
Google Gives Preference to Subscribed Sites
As an additional incentive to sign up with their program, Google will give preference to subscribed news sites in Google for search queries that are news topics.
Subscriptions Supplement Advertising Revenue
Online advertising has not been sufficient to sustain news organizations. Increasingly online information sites have been turning to subscription models. This solves the problem of the subscription model by making it easy to subscribe to any website through a single log in.
News is Important to Google
Google recognizes that news is an important part of the modern daily experience. Google outlined five reasons https://newsinitiative.withgoogle.com/about why they are partnering to help support with news organizations:
- Quality journalism matters
- Financial stability requires innovation
- The digital news ecosystem should remain open
- New technology presents new opportunity
- Collaboration is key to our mutual success
Quality Journalism Matters
This is an acknowledgement that news is an important factor in modern society. Free news is not possible. So this is an effort to help fund quality news.
Financial Stability Requires Innovation
This is a reference to AMP and presumably analytic technologies that “help them better understand and connect with their users.”
An Open News Ecosystem
This is about providing a way to keep news organizations solvent, while balancing the “needs of publishers and consumers.”
Subscribe with Google is an example of new technology that benefits the consumers and creators of news.
Google’s mission is to provide access to information. So it’s only natural for them to help sustain the source of news information.
Will This Help Non-News Websites?
There is no indication that this will be expanded to non-news web publishers. However, one can hope. Online advertising revenue has been steadily declining as a revenue stream for many publishers. Something like this may prove popular with non-news publishers.
The advertising model has been failing for the past several years. This has given rise to the subscription model for monetizing content. Long term, the Subscribe with Google program could represent a new direction in how websites earn income from their content.
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