Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Google And Apple Launch Competing Digital Subscription Services

Apple clearly holds a dominate positions in the smartphone application market with the huge success of the App store. With their recently announced in app subscription service they are pushing to become a major player in the digital magazine and newspaper business. Not to be out played Google's Eric Schmidt has announced Google One Pass, a service similar to that of Apple's that lets publishers set their own prices and terms for their digital content.

With Google One Pass, publishers can maintain direct relationships with their customers and give readers access to digital content across multiple websites and mobile apps. Offering a true purchase once view-anywhere functionality suvrscribers who purchase from a One Pass publisher can access their content on tablets, smartphones and websites using a single sign-on with an email and password.

Google says One Pass is easy to implement and simple to manage. The set up is minimal and content will be managed through a simple online interface, so publishers can try out different approaches to selling content with minimal development cost and see what works for their business. It is powered by Google Checkout, so publishers’ e-commerce and payment processing needs are covered, and there is no need to build a third-party payment system into publishers sites.

Publishers have control over how users can pay to access content and set their own prices. They can sell subscriptions of any length with auto-renewal, day passes (or other durations), individual articles or multiple-issue packages. Google One Pass also enables metered models, where a publisher can provide some content or a certain number of visits for free, but can charge frequent visitors or those interested in premium content based on the business model that the publisher prefers.

Unlike Apple's service which takes a 30% cut right off the top Google is reportedly letting publishers keep about 90% of subscription revenue gained through One Pass. One Pass also operates across multiple sites, on multiple formats unlike that of Apple and their iTunes only model.

"Our goal is to provide an open and flexible platform that furthers our commitment to support publishers, journalism and access to quality content. Like First Click Free, Fast Flip and Living Stories, this is another initiative developed to enable publishers to promote and distribute digital content," writes

Speaking at an event at Humboldt University in Berlin Chief Executive Eric Schmidt takes a clear jab at Apple, "Our intention is to make no money on it we want the publishers to make all the money." Clearly the battle between Google and Apple is starting to heat up and it looks like nothing but great news for developers and consumers alike!

For more details checkout the Google One Pass page or the Google One Pass announcement

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