July 20, 2019
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As media companies feel penny pinches, newspapers and magazines are still trying to desperately compete in a world that’s digital.

Google used to have a “first-click free,” which was more like a three-click free policy. Google now has ended the program that gave would-be web searchers free views to media organizations that put their content behind a paywall like the Washington Post has.

Publishers like loyalty and subscribers, not free content, but websites like traffic. In the age of Axios, Mother Jones, and message boards, and blogs it’s quite easy to bypass the paywall from mainstream news sites. Google and Facebook are working with media brands to help them increase their subscribers and to make the process easier for consumers.

What there needs to be is a Netflix for news media and it’s only a matter of time before Facebook, Google, or an unknown startup itself creates the thing everyone wants. A one-click solution to the subscription night-mare.

John J. Falco

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