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article imageSubscribe with Google lets you pay for online news subscriptions

By James Walker     Mar 20, 2018 in Technology
Google has announced an initiative to make it simpler to pay for online subscriptions. The company will allow you to purchase subscriptions to publishers using your Google account. You'll then be able to access paywalled content by signing in with Google.
One-click subscriptions
Announced today, Subscribe with Google is the company's latest attempt to increase its influence in online journalism. It is partnering with publishers to provide a simpler way to offer subscription content that's blocked behind a paywall. The company claimed that starting new subscriptions is currently an "onerous task" because of the need for passwords and credit card information.
Publishers that integrate Subscribe with Google into their site will now provide a one-click option to start a subscription. On participating news sites, you'll see a new option to "Subscribe with Google." You can choose the plan duration you want to subscribe for and then press "Subscribe" to access the content.
Your subscription will be tied to your Google account, so you'll be able to read paywalled content wherever you're signed in. Payments will be made using your existing Google card details. Google manages the billing, security and account-based aspects of the subscription. The publisher's website consults with the service to check whether you're authenticated to view its content.
"Help journalism thrive"
Google said it started to show Subscribe with Google to publishers over six months ago. The company has been working with over 60 organisations since then to develop the initial concept. The publishers are spread across 18 countries and include prominent media organisations such as the Financial Times, Washington Post, New York Times, Telegraph, Le Parisien and Reforma.
According to Google, Subscribe with Google reflects the company's intentions to "help journalism thrive" online. The service also reflects Google's increasingly aggressive moves to make publishers dependent on its platforms. After trying to convince sites to use its AMP technology for webpages, the company now wants media providers to hand it responsibility for their payments infrastructure too.
Subscribe with Google
Subscribe with Google
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Google claims that Subscribe with Google will improve the user experience. It could also result in more Internet centralisation though, especially if it proves popular with publishers. Google said it is "committed" to ensuring Subscribe for Google adheres to its aims of improving online journalism.
"As part of the Google News Initiative, our company-wide effort to help journalism thrive in a digital age, today’s launch is an important step toward helping news publishers develop revenue streams beyond advertising," the company said. "We plan to grow and evolve Subscribe with Google to help publishers identify likely subscribers, grow their subscriber base, and achieve financial sustainability."
More about Google, susbcribe with google, Online media, Digital media, Journalism
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