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Google expands scheme to help publishers make local news pay online

Jeremy_SpoonerGoogle is expanding a scheme launched to help local newspapers create online subscription models.

The tech giant has revealed the extension of its digital growth programme, which aims to help regional titles develop online revenue strategies.

Beneficiaries of the scheme have included the Barnsley Chronicle, Baylis Media, Rotherham Advertiser and Iliffe Media.

Google has now extended the scheme for 12 months “in response to feedback from the publishers involved.

The programme is delivered in partnership with the News Media Association and FT Strategies, a subscriptions consultancy run by the Financial Times.

Baylis Media chief executive Jeremy Spooner, pictured, said: “The extremely high level of expertise delivered by the FT Strategies team, coupled with their access to insights on how to grow digital subscription revenue would not have been accessible by Baylis Media Ltd, had it not been funded by Google News Initiative.

“The programme has given the team the confidence to accelerate its digital subscription strategy with a clear methodology now in place and a challenge goal set.

“Without doubt the programme has provided a significant boost to the digital revenue strategy.”