Google has ended its first-click-free policy saying that it's up to publishers that have a paywall to manage their own operations, however, it'll replace it with what it calls "flexible sampling". Also, it'll not demote in the SERPs pages that are behind a paywall.
First click free was a Google requirement where publishers had to show a minimum of three free articles per day in the SERPs and Google News before people were shown a paywall.
Here's Google's guidelines for publishers on flexible sampling. [support.google.com
Clearly, Google has now done something to help publishers sell subscriptions.