New Google online subscription service to rival Apple
Just one day after Apple announced its new subscription model for digital content publishers, Google's CEO has debuted the search engine's own online payment service.
Launching the system at Humboldt University in Berlin, Eric Schmidt said the new Google One Pass will let publishers determine their own terms and prices for digital content – and even experiment with different models to see which one works best for their company.
"Our goal is to provide an open and flexible platform that furthers our commitment to support publishers, journalism and access to quality content," reported the search engine's director of business product management, Lee Shirani, on the Official Google Blog.
Unlike Apple's platform, which sees the technology firm take 30 per cent of all customer transactions and limits viewing to its own iPod, iPhone and iPad devices, Google will take a ten per cent cut of all One Pass sales and allow customers to access content on websites, tablets and smartphones with a single username and password.
The search engine claims that its new model accommodates the continually-evolving digital content market by allowing for greater flexibility.
While One Pass is not yet available in Australia, publishers in Canada, Germany, the UK, Italy, Spain, France and the US can now sign up. Google plans to add more countries in the coming months.
It remains to be seen whether readers – who have become accustomed to getting high-quality original content for free on the web for years – will be willing to pay to access the same kind of digital media.
But with giants like Google and Apple creating simple, straightforward subscription services from trusted brands, the online publishing industry could be in for a major change.