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Google: First Click Free being replaced by Flexible Sampling

Flexible Sampling

Google’s new suite of tools to help news publishers drive more subscription revenue.

According to a new announcement made by Google, the First Click Free is now being replaced with a Flexible Sampling model. With this model, publishers will be able to decide about the number of free articles they want to provide to potential subscribers, after considering their business strategy. The decision was taken after contemplating the effects and experimenting the outcome with the New York Times and Financial Times. Both publications have successful subscription services.

Content and news publishers will now control whether and how many articles they want to let searchers access before showing a paywall or subscription prompt. The company is also working on an array of other tools to help boost publisher subscriptions.

Kinsey Wilson from New York Times said, “Google’s decision to let publishers determine how much content readers can sample from search is a positive development,”. He further added, “We’re encouraged as well by Google’s willingness to consider other ways of supporting subscription business models and we are looking forward to continuing to work with them to craft smart solutions.”

Google is also working towards making it easier for users to subscribe to publisher content. The company is building a standard or template-based checkout flow that will be available to publishers at their discretion. Publishers will be free to ignore it, adopt it or modify it.

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