Google has quietly launched new tools enabling web publishers to monetize their web audiences via subscriptions and contributions.
Flying beneath an AI-dizzy radar, Google has quietly announced its new Reader Revenue Manager (RRM) product suite. Accessible from within the existing Google Publisher Center, the new product suite is designed to help publishers seamlessly paywall their content and charge access to it.
Designed for smaller publishers and creators, implementation is relatively straightforward – publishers simply add snippets of Google code to their sites, specify the subscription pricing, and can begin accepting subscriptions or contributions almost immediately.
Revenue is passed on to participating publishers, less Google’s 5% cut, and subscribers are automatically signed in with their Google accounts on websites they’ve subscribed to.
Stung by earlier criticism, Google has also promised to keep at arm’s length away from publishers’ data, stating, “Own your reader relationship with direct access to your reader’s opted-in contact information” before adding, “Your data is private and secure and will never be processed by Google.”
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According to Jack Marshall of Toolkits, the subscriptions insights consultancy, the new offering is essentially an extension and repackaging of Google’s existing “Subscribe with Google” technology, but it could allow Google to compete more directly with other subscription monetization tools and subscription-based creator platforms such as Substack.
As it becomes clear that a mix of revenue streams is the most effective and sustainable way to support high-quality content and journalism, Google’s interest in subscription-based revenue models and tools may not be temporary.Jack Marshall, Toolkits
Google also hinted that content from publishers using RRM could appear more prominently across its portfolio, which might include Google News, Discover and other Google features that surface publisher content.
Publishers who utilize RRM can also leverage a recently added Subscribed Content report in Google’s search console, specifically intended to aid publishers in understanding how traffic stemming from Google search queries is being converted into revenue from subscribers, as well as to verify that any content which requires payment is being appropriately recognized by Google.
Are you tracking your email reputation? If not, it’s absolutely critical. While not a complete picture, Google Postmaster Tools are like Google Search Console, but for email. It’s totally free and every media company should be watching how Google sees their email reputation.Eric Shanfelt, Founding Partner, Nearview Media