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'Subscribe with Google' attempts to simplify how web readers pay for news

Google is launching a new initiative to make it easier for users to subscribe to their favorite news sites, without leaving the service, or engaging in a lengthy sign-up process.

The new Subscribe With Google allows users to subscribe to specific news sites with their Google accounts, with Google managing the billing directly. And once users are logged in to Google they will remain logged in to all of their favorite subscription sites.

Google's Jim Albrecht, the product management director, announced the initiative in a blog post Tuesday.

Partners at launch include The New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, Gannett, McClatchy and Gatehouse Media in the U.S., as well as various other publications- Les Ochos, Fairfax Media, Le Figaro, the Financial Times, Grupo Globo, The Mainichi, La Nacion, NRC Media, Le Parisien, Reforma, la Republica and The Telegraph- in other parts of the world. Among the sites missing from the list is the paywalled Wall Street Journal.

"Paying for a subscription is a clear indication that you value and trust your subscribed publication as a source," Albrecht wrote.

The blog post paints the effort as a culmination of Google's efforts to understand its place in the news ecosystem of today, and Apple has been considering them as well. The Subscribe With Google initiative will also have Google search component.

"So we'll also highlight those sources across Google surfaces, beginning with a dedicated module on Search," said Albrecht in the blog post. "When you search for a news topic for which your subscribed publication has relevant results, we'll showcase these so they're easy for you to see and access— without disrupting search ranking for the rest of the page."

In his recent talk at South by Southwest in Austin, Apple Senior Vice President of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue discussed the topic at length, in talking about Apple News and the recent acquisition of Texture, which had been announced that morning. Cue made clear that Apple favors "in-depth" news, while not necessarily giving consumers the news they want.