Google launches ‘Google One Pass’ paid content system
A day after Apple launched its new content subscription system Google is making its play for paid content with the launch of its Google One Pass micropayment system, which will allow people to buy content on any platform from a publisher signed up.
It is being launched this afternoon in Germany and the biggest name signed up so far is Axel Springer AG and Gruner + Jahr’s Stern (for all your diary scoops).
It isn’t the most impressive roster to kick-off with considering it is at launch available in Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the UK and the US. One Pass joins publishers like News Corporation, the New York Times and the Dallas Morning News among others, which are going it alone with their own paid content systems, as well as those publishers using Steve Brill’s Journalism Online Press +.
Journalism Online system, which has been up and running since last summer, can only boast the likes of The Scranton Times-Tribune and the Augusta Chronicle among its publishers. Not exactly big-market names.
Interesting that this is announced on the day that News Corp in the UK says that the Sun paywall might not go up in 2011 as planned. Apparently, the system is still being finalised. That is particularly noteworthy as its sister title the News of the World went live with its paywall last year. Is News Corp having second thoughts about how it implements its paywall?
So what are the prospects for Google One Pass? Sure it is early days, but I am betting that like Journalism Online (in which Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp is an investor) it will struggle to sign up big namer players.
Full press release from Google
At Humboldt University in Berlin today, Eric Schmidt announced Google One Pass, a service 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 websites and mobile apps.
Readers 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. Importantly, the service helps publishers authenticate existing subscribers so that readers don’t have to re-subscribe in order to access their content on new devices.
With Google One Pass, publishers can customize how and when they charge for content while experimenting with different models to see what works best for them—offering subscriptions, metered access, “freemium” content or even single articles for sale from their websites or mobile apps. The service also lets publishers give existing print subscribers free (or discounted) access to digital content. We take care of the rest, including payments technology handled via Google Checkout.
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.
German publishers Axel Springer AG, Focus Online (Tomorrow Focus) and Stern.de joined Eric at Humboldt University today as some of our first Google One Pass partners. Other publishers already signed up include Media General, NouvelObs, Bonnier’s Popular Science, Prisa and Rust Communications.
Google One Pass is currently available for publishers in Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the U.K. and the U.S. If you’re a publisher in one of these countries and want to learn more, please reach out to the Google One Pass team or submit your information on our website. For interested publishers in other countries, we’d love to hear from you too as we plan to expand to other countries in the coming months.