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Google News move could prompt shift to paid content

13 Dec 09 - 12:00AM

The recent decision by Google to limit free access to online news articles could prompt a shift towards paid-for content.

According to Marketing magazine, the move may encourage publishers to seek new and sustainable ways for internet users to pay for what they read.

Google announced on December 1st that it would introduce a new programme to prevent consumers from gaining unrestricted access to subscription-based news websites.

First Click Free will direct users who click on more than five articles per day to a payment or registration page, which they will have to compete before they can view any more content.

The move will only apply to websites that currently charge users for access to their news articles, but it could have a wider impact on the online publishing sector.

Indeed, Rob Lynam, head of national press trading at media agency Mediaedge.cia, said declining advertising revenues, coupled with falls in traditional revenue from circulation, are prompting publishers to consider more sustainable funding models.

Trends in this area could have implications for those seeking media sales jobs, as it could force newspapers to revisit their advertising strategies.

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