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Google

Google is launching a new program called "Subscribe with Google," that will elevate news articles to subscribers on Google search and AMP and will create a seamless sign-in and payment flow for readers to be able to more easily to subscribe to more news.

Why it matters: The efforts comes as publishers look to bolster their subscription efforts, since their traditional revenue stream — digital advertising — has become monopolized by tech giants, mainly Google and Facebook.

"We think having to only log in once can actually improve the user experience in a very small but powerful way," said Bonita Stewart, VP of Global Partnerships at Google. "Once we know a user is a subscriber, we can honor that subscription and ensure they have easy access to your [publishers] content across Google."

  • Seventeen publishers globally are currently testing the feature with Google, including McClatchy, La Nación, The New York Times and The Washington Post.
  • Users will be able to pay for news with the click of a button using their Google account on participating news sites.
  • Google will highlight sources users subscribe to across its brands, beginning with a dedicated module on Search. Google will showcase these results so they’re easy to see and access—without disrupting search ranking for the rest of the page.

This effort builds on Google's announcement last year to introduce "flexible sampling" to test when to show users ads with subscription offers instead of regular commercial ads.

  • Google also ended its longtime "First Click Free" (FCF) policy, which for more than ten years has allowed people to access content that was traditionally behind a paywall for free with their first click into the content on Google Search and Google News properties.

Google is also launching a "Consumer Insights" dashboard to help publishers with less resources learn more about analytics around their subscription efforts.

Research shows that most people decide to buy a subscription to a news outlet after regularly visiting its website and accessing free content first. A whopping 43% say they encountered a paper before subscribing through a search engine.

  • Exposing people to free samplings of content through social and search is a key driver of getting them to subscribe, which is why Google and its primary competitor, Facebook, have been launching efforts to share more data with publishers and create products within their platforms to help get subscription efforts for news outlets off the ground.

Go deeper

CCP releases two jailed Canadians after Huawei CFO deal with DOJ

Photo: Sheldon Cooper/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Two Canadians imprisoned by the Chinese government for over 1,000 days have been released and are expected to arrive in Canada on Saturday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Friday.

Why it matters: Their release comes hours after Huawei Technologies CFO Meng Wanzhou reached a deal with the U.S. Department of Justice that resolves the criminal charges against her and could pave the way for her to return to China.

Updated 19 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Arizona GOP's private recount of 2020 election confirms Biden's win

Contractors working on behalf of the GOP examine and recount 2020 ballots at Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix in May. Photo: Courtney Pedroza/Getty Images

In an odd coda to the 2020 election, private contractors conducting a GOP-commissioned recount in Arizona confirmed President Biden’s win in Maricopa County.

Why it matters: The unofficial, party-driven recount has been heavily covered on cable news as part of former President Trump's continued effort to sow doubt about the election result.

Del Rio bridge camp empty following Haitian migrant surge

A boy bathes himself in a jug of water inside a migrant camp at the U.S.-Mexico border on Sept. 21 in Del Rio, Texas. Photo: John Moore/Getty Images

The last migrants camping under the Del Rio International Bridge, which connects Texas and Mexico, departed on Friday, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas announced during a White House press briefing.

Driving the news: Thousands of migrants, mostly from Haiti, had arrived to the makeshift camp after crossing the southern border seeking asylum. Roughly 1,800 migrants will now head to U.S. Customs and Border Protection processing centers.