Google is testing new tools to help publishers of news sites gather more subscriptions. The search giant has a "first click free" policy that allows new users to sample articles from paid new sites. The number of free articles that users have access to may be reduced from the current three. Google is of the opinion that allowing users to sample news articles increases subscriptions, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.
The sites on which the new tools are being tested include The New York Times and Financial Times. Google is also allowing the publishers to access data on the visitors, including information on the visitors most likely to purchase subscriptions. At the same time, trials for allowing the news sites to incorporate Google's online payment platforms for subscriptions is also under way. Google is allowing the publishers to access these tools in exchange for allowing Google users to access a few articles for free.
News publications in the US have filed for an antitrust exemption to collectively negotiate with Google and Facebook over a better deal when it comes to a share in the advertising revenue. Google had then indicated that it would work closely with publishers to help with the distribution and funding. In the EU, news publishers want Google to pay them for displaying portions of the article, or snippets, in the search results.