Is Facebook launching a Spotify for News?

Facebook is putting itself more in the position of a partner of publishers. The social network’s Head of News Partnerships Campbell Brown said they will launch initial tests for a subscription based news product in October. The feature is built on top of Instant Articles, which already aggregates articles from hundreds of publishers based on a reader’s interests and preferences. And now Facebook is planning to erect a paywall which would require readers to become subscribers of the platform after they had accessed their 10 free articles. 

“One of the things we heard in our initial meetings from many newspapers and digital publishers is that ‘we want a subscription product — we want to be able to see a paywall in Facebook’. And that is something we’re doing now. We are launching a subscription product.” Ms Brown said at the Digital Publishing Innovation Summit in New York

Publishers have been struggling to monetize Instant Articles but this could prove to take away another part of publishers’ control over their business. Advertising money is already mostly taken by Google and Facebook. Precious subscriber data and relationships to loyal readers could be taken away next.

Read more in this article from The Street.


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