TechCrunch reveals that Google considered and designed a feature that would let people donate money to websites to help support news publishers, bloggers and musicians. The idea was scrapped, despite these kinds of businesses and creators often struggling to earn revenue.
Google got into the publisher funding space with Google One Pass in 2011, helping users buy subscriptions to sites before it was shut down a year later. In 2014, Google Contributor launched to let people pay a monthly fee in exchange for ad removal on partnered sites, but that program concluded around the end of 2016.
A Google spokesperson provided TechCrunch with a statement that said: “We recognize that there isn’t a single business model that works for all publishers today and think it’s critical to explore new technologies that can help publishers make more money. Funding Choices is a great example of a product we have invested in significantly and will continue to evolve to support publishers and their monetization strategies.”