Paying for News Just Got Easier

The news industry has seen an increase in the number of users who are willing to pay for quality news content online.

From 2016 to 2017, the news media industry saw the number of paid online news subscribers double, rising from 9% to 16%.  The trajectory continues to grow as more and more online users seek out reliable news sources in a world of unreliable sources.  From the Digital News Report “Paying for News” (link), the majority of these users are seeking out these sites for the following reasons:

  • Breaking News
  • Recent Event Reporting
  • In-Depth Analysis
  • Commentary (ex. Sports)

These are the areas where local news media excels, both in print and online.

With the growth of subscribers to the quality journalism provided by newspapers, they now attract the same number of paid subscribers as audio (16%) and have more subscribers than games (11%), ebooks (10%) and non-news websites (4%).  But, the industry still encounters hurdles to converting users to subscribers:

  • 11% don’t want to share bank details
  • 6% worry about the ease of canceling
  • 6% are concerned about the difficulties in making a payment

Enter Google

The news media industry has long struggled with their opinion of the search giant, but with the launch of Subscribe with Google, strides have been made to close that gap.

Signing up publishers ranging from a national powerhouse like to industry leaders with strong local footprints (McClatchy, Gatehouse, Gannett), this initiative is bringing Alphabet and the world of quality journalism closer together.

Map of newspapers launching with Google Subscription

"We're grateful to work with Google as an early development partner and excited to see how our collaboration will help McClatchy's brand of independent local journalism reach a wider audience," said Craig Forman, president and CEO of McClatchy. "The importance of local news is gaining wider recognition and we know first-hand the deep impact it can have in changing lives, improving communities and strengthening our democracy." Source:  McClatchy April 24

Subscribe with Google will simplify the way users engage with participating news media currently behind a paywall, making the quality content easier to access and encouraging growth of newspapers’ digital properties.

For advertisers, this will provide opportunities through increased availability of digital advertising within brand-safe, trusted environments where they can reach users who are actively engaged with the screen in front of them (i.e. paying for access).  We expect to see an increase in both demand for this type of content from users and a mirrored drive to reach this burgeoning audience by advertisers.  After all, quality news sites drive 3 times the brand lift of non-premium sites (comScore), and an increase in audience on those properties will be a boon to all.

Do you need assistance reaching real users, reading real content on news media sites across the United States?  The team at MANSI Media can help.  Simply call us (717-703-3030) or email ( and we can help you today with your placement into any local media property across the country.

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