"Anything you can do, we can do better"…is a motto which could describe Google’s decision to announce its One Pass subscription system one day after Apple rolled out its in-app subscription service.
Eric Schmidt had just left Mobile World Congress in Barcelona when he turned up in Berlin to announce One Pass, which will allow subscribers a "purchase-once view-anywhere" system of buying content online. One Pass will also allow content providers (magazines, newspapers etc.) more flexible systems of charging for their content, “offering subscriptions, metered access, 'freemium' content or even single articles for sale from their website or mobile apps.” The service also lets publishers give existing print subscribers free (or discounted) access to digital content – so you could buy your print copy of Angler’s Weekly and get free access to some quality images of carp on your tablet.
The subscription system in iOS was initially rolled out on the iPad-only The Daily newspaper, and with the proliferation of Honeycomb-touting tablets at this year’s MWC, demand for newspapers and magazines on these devices will no doubt grow quickly and as such One Pass was necessary to facilitate this. “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,” a statement on Google’s Blog read. The One Pass payment system is facilitated by Google’s Checkout system.
Google is obviously hoping that it will attract publishers and readers for two reasons. The first, as we mentioned, is the flexibility of the subscriptions service while the other is that Google’s commission for using this service is 10 percent compared to Apple taking 30 percent of all subscriptions. This is obviously going to be a major stick for Schmidt and Co to beat Apple with but unless they manage to attract a significant number of publishers to the system, no one will use it.
Google One Pass is currently available for publishers in Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the UK and the US with only a limited number signed up already. Google is looking for any other publishers interested in signing up to contact them via its website where customers can also sign up.
Source: Google’s Blog