Google announces ‘One Pass’ subscription service for publishers

February 16th, 2011 by Chris Hogg Leave a reply »

Google One Pass

In a blog post today, Google announced it is rolling out Google One Pass, a subscription service designed to let publishers set prices to access digital content.

Google One Pass offers publishers a variety of subscription options, including auto-renewing subscriptions, day passes, metered access, pay-per-article or multi-issue packages.

Using a single sign-on, a reader can access content on multiple platforms, including Web and mobile, without having to subscribe to multiple feeds. It’s a “purchase-once, view-anywhere solution,” Google says.

“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,” writes Lee Shirani, director, business product management, Google Commerce. “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.”

The roll-out of Google One Pass comes one day after Apple announced a subscription model for iOS devices. As the Financial Times reports, Google will take a 10 percent cut of any revenue from One Pass, compared to Apple’s 30 percent take on subscriptions sold for iOS devices.

Google’s Eric Schmidt announced Google One Pass at Humboldt University in Berlin today. The company says its goal is to provide an open and flexible platform to support publishers and journalism.

The first partners include German publishers Axel Springer AG, Focus Online (Tomorrow Focus), Stern.de, Media General, NouvelObs, Bonnier’s Popular Science, Prisa and Rust Communications.

Google One Pass is currently available in the United States, Canada, France, Italy, Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom. The company plans to expand to other geographies in the coming months.

The Google One Pass FAQ can be found here, and the company posted the following overview video for the product:

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