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Google is supporting subscriptions through machine learning

The move is part of a greater effort by Google to support publishers' subscription revenue efforts. Photo: AP file

Google is letting publishers use data and machine learning insights from DoubleClick, their ad-serving platform, to know if they should serve their audiences an advertisers' ad or an ad asking the user if they want to buy a subscription with that publisher. The move comes on the heels of the announcement Google made earlier in the week that it will do away with a longtime policy that hindered publishers' subscription revenue. Why it matters: Both announcements are a part of a greater effort by Google to support publishers' subscription revenue efforts, as Google and rival Facebook take the majority of digital ad revenue — forcing most publishers to pivot their revenue strategies to subscriptions.What's in it for Google: It will help them build and maintain working relationships with valuable publishers. In a conversation with reporters at Google's Publishing Partner Leadership Summit in Chicago, Google's Chief Business Officer Philipp Schindler said Google is not trying to make money off of the effort. "We are not trying to create new business model here," he said. We're trying to figure out how this is added value. We just need to cover our costs." Google says publishers have been vocal about wanting to leverage Google data and insights to elevate their subscription efforts. "I've personally talked to the CEOs of all major publishing houses and their feedback has been consistent ... please help us with subscriptions," Schindler told reporters.

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