America’s Newspapers and Google News Initiative partner on Subscriptions Lab program


America’s Newspapers and the Google News Initiative announced the launch of the GNI North America Subscriptions Lab. The program, which has already delivered significant results to other news organizations, is open to small- to mid-sized publishers in the United States and Canada that seek to improve their digital subscription revenue and overall digital presence.

The application deadline is Aug. 11 and the free program will begin in September and run through February 2023. 

“The GNI Subscriptions Lab will give participants the opportunity to significantly accelerate their digital evolution,” said Dean Ridings, America’s Newspapers CEO. “By working and learning from the experts at Google News Initiative and their partners at FT Strategies, news organizations will gain valuable insights they can implement immediately to grow digital subscriber revenue. And participants will work with other peer newspapers in similar situations to learn from each other. We are very excited to bring this opportunity to our members.”

Applicants must commit to the participation of the publisher and other senior executives at the newspaper. Please see here for more information about the program and to submit your application.

GNI North America Subscriptions Lab

Program Length: September 2022 - February 2023
Language: English
Application Deadline: Thursday, Aug. 11, at 11:59 p.m. EDT

Description: This Lab is intended for small- to medium-sized news organizations with established skills, technical foundations and more than two years of experience with a subscriptions revenue model who are looking to accelerate their path toward sustainable digital reader revenue. Participants must have demonstrated digital foundations, including established Google Analytics. 

Eligibility Criteria:

  • News organization based in the United States or Canada that has produced original content for at least two years.
  • News organization with established skills, technical foundations and more than two years of experience with a subscriptions model.
  • Demonstrated digital foundations, including established Google Analytics.
  • Existing digital presence and organization-wide investment in long-term digital growth. If selected, a letter of support from an executive sponsor is required before the start of the program.
  • Commitment to devoting operational and technical resources to the program, along with the willingness to test, improve and iterate on how you work and your existing products/collateral/technology, etc.
  • Commitment to providing data and access to requested platforms as required to receive personalized recommendations and track progress. Platforms may include Google Ad Manager, Google Analytics, Google Search Console, CMS, etc. 
  • Newsroom with a minimum of two full-time employee (FTE) journalists, up to a maximum of 100 FTE journalists. 
  • Editorial focus on core news provision, i.e., not lifestyle, sports, etc.
  • Commitment of five to 10 hours per team per week. A dedicated project manager will be responsible for ensuring your team attends all program and coaching sessions and completes all assignments. We recommend a team of three to five people who may be involved at different points of the Lab, which includes at least the following roles: a) Sales/Marketing; b) News/Editorial; and c) Product/Tech/Data.
  • Willingness to share business insights and openly collaborate with cohort members. 
  • Willingness to share learnings with the greater news industry after the completion of the program.
  • Preferred: News organization serving underrepresented communities. 

“Building a successful subscriptions business requires an organization-wide commitment, and the GNI Subscriptions Lab was designed to help news organizations accelerate the path towards sustainable digital reader revenue. We look forward to working with this cohort and sharing lessons learned from the Lab with other news organizations through the Google News Initiative.” – Ben Monnie, director of Global Partnerships Solutions, Google

GNI Digital Growth Program Labs

In GNI Digital Growth Program Labs, cohorts of news organizations come together over several months to tackle specific business problems, with support from Google and industry experts.

Lab participants:

  • Receive customized coaching related to their business goals.
  • Implement specific steps to advance their goals.
  • Learn from peers who face similar business problems.

About the Google News Initiative (GNI) Digital Growth Program:

Launched in 2020, the GNI Digital Growth Program has been designed with industry experts and news publishers across the world to help small- and medium-sized news organizations grow their digital businesses through free training, consulting and support. 

About the Google News Initiative:

The Google News Initiative is Google’s effort to partner with news publishers around the world to build a long-lasting, diverse and innovative news ecosystem. We do this by offering training, programs, funding and products to journalists and newsrooms to help strengthen their work in the digital age.

About America's Newspapers:
America’s Newspapers is the trade association for thousands of newspapers across the United States.

For more information:

Contact Greg Watson, chief marketing officer of America’s Newspapers, at


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