Facebook is reportedly planning a news subscription service at least according to Facebook’s Campbell Brown (head of news partnerships at Facebook). She said the company was set to do this as early as this October and this comes as publishers have asked the United States Congress for anti-trust exemptions that will allow them negotiate with the likes of Facebook and Google.
This according to her will allow Facebook aggregate news based on a user’s interest and allow you read up to ten articles for free after which you are expected to subscribe for an undisclosed fee. This service sounds like a paid version of Facebook’s Instant Articles which already allows publishers to create content that can be accessed ten times faster than regular articles on Facebook.
At the Digital Publishing Innovation Summit two days ago in New York, she said “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… that is something we’re doing now. We are launching a subscription product”
This service is similar to what publishers like the New York Times and Wall Street Journal already offer readers but the fact that Facebook wants such a service means collaborating with these publishers by providing them a bigger audience for content which would result in revenue sharing eventually.
This is part of Facebook’s broader plan to gradually reduce over-dependence on ad revenue which makes up about 84 percent of it revenue. Facebook is increasingly partnering with content creators for original material on its website which means Facebook is also looking to cash in on some of the revenue to the likes of Netflix and YouTube.
To do this though, they have stepped up hiring media professionals like Campbell Brown who was formerly at NBC News.