Google started rolling out its new “reader revenue product,” which offers select publishers the ability to implement a contribution or subscription model (paywall) on their website.
Paywalls aren’t new, of course. But this is the first time that Google is offering its own paywall product.
Although there is already a plethora of established paywall providers, nothing Google does should be taken lightly.
Given this, if you’re a publisher interested in adding a paywall, it’s important to understand what Google is offering and what makes its product unique.
Google’s Reader Revenue Product – The Basics
As explained by Google in an email sent to to select publishers, “This free, self-service platform is designed to help publishers, especially those with limited developer resources, incorporate a subscription or contribution model onto their desktop and mobile web pages.”
Note that Google is not calling its new product a paywall.
It appears that Google is trying to market its new product as a larger, more encompassing publisher revenue solution than the traditional paywall.
Indeed, Google noted that the “platform also includes additional features to help increase reader engagement and retention across your publication.”
What are these “additional features?” That remains to be seen.
Our Executive VP spoke with Google about the new product, and Google explained that it is still in beta testing, so new details are continuously emerging.
Google’s product offers several advantages over other paywalls:
Flexible revenue model – Google’s product allows you to choose between a subscription or contribution revenue model. So if you’re not ready to take the paywall leap, you still have the option to solicit contributions from your readers.
Low fees – Payments are subject to a 5% transaction fee, which includes the credit card fees. This is a relatively low fee in the paywall industry.
Easy implementation – Implementing the new product is straightforward and requires no programming skills.
Logged-in readers – As long as readers are logged into their Google account, they will be automatically signed in to your website no matter where they are in the world.
Eligibility – At the moment, the service is only available to publishers in the US, Canada, Mexico, Brazil or Argentina. In order to be eligible for the product, you also need a website built entirely on Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP). Also, if you’re a non-profit, you’re out of luck. The product is not currently available for non-profits.
Beta testing – The product is still in beta testing, which means that all of the kinks haven’t been ironed out yet.
General paywall disadvantages – The general disadvantages of paywalls is a subject for another post. But be aware that implementing a paywall on your site will mean a significant decrease in traffic. Implementing a paywall is a big business decision that necessitates a lot of consideration and should not be done on a whim.
If you’re interested in learning more about the product or need help deciding if it’s the right move for you, feel free to reach out to our team for a free consultation.
Adnimation’s leading professionals, advanced tech, and great standing with Google can help ensure that you maximize your revenue potential.