Posts Tagged ‘subscriptions’

Google announces ‘One Pass’ subscription service for publishers

February 16th, 2011

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),, 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:

The Independent incorporates Facebook ‘Like’ button to let readers subscribe to journalists, topics

January 12th, 2011

Screen shot of

As news sites become more social and adapt to new content discovery platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, innovation is flourishing. With readers suffering from content overload and media outlets being pressured to drive more pageviews, news organizations are turning to targeting capabilities to develop a solution to both problems.

Enter: The Facebook Like button. We’ve covered this in the past, when ESPN used the Like button to create custom news feeds for people based on their interests around specific teams.

Now, The Independent is following suit and allowing readers to subscribe to specific reporters.

“Starting with a few key areas of the site, we’ve been developing the tools to let people get their news from The Independent through social networks in tighter categories, designed to better reflect the parts of our editorial output you particularly enjoy,” Jack Riley wrote in a blog post. “To that end, you can now ‘like’ all of our commentators on Facebook, and if you do then when they publish a story it’ll appear in your news feed.”

A Like-button subscription option is a great way for media outlets to bring in new readers. And because content is so specific to their interest, those readers are more likely to be happy with the content they consume.

In today’s media-saturated landscape, people don’t always go to a site to check daily news. Furthermore, just because a reader was interested in one article from a sports or business section doesn’t mean they’re going to read everything from that section.

Today, when readers visit a news site, they may follow a specific journalist, or perhaps a particular topic. But getting someone spend hours on a site to find information they care about just isn’t going to happen across the board.

Categories once worked as ways to organize content by interest, but they can be too broad in today’s age where there is a plentiful supply of content.

The Independent‘s use of the Facebook Like button is innovative because it’s targeted and users opt-in. Riley gives examples using key writers such as Robert Fisk and Johann Hari, saying readers can “Like” them on The Independent‘s website and when they publish readers are notified via Facebook. The news organization has built similar functionality around football clubs so readers can get targeted news about their favourite teams.

Welcome to the era of personalized news where publishers build-in features outside of their own websites.

[Cross-posted to Future of Media]

Study: iPad news apps will hurt newspaper print subscriptions

December 9th, 2010

Photo by Harry Phillips

According to a new report from the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute, more than 50 percent of print newspaper subscribers who use their iPad at least an hour a day for news are likely to cancel their print subscriptions over the next six months.

Furthermore, nearly 31 percent of iPad users surveyed said they don’t subscribe to printed newspapers and 10 percent indicated they already cancelled their print subscriptions and switched to reading digital versions on the iPad.

The report is the first phase of a multi-year research project to understand how Apple iPad users consume news content. The data was collected based on the responses gathered from more than 1,600 iPad users.

Among the findings, respondents who read at least an hour’s worth of news on their iPads every day — more than 90 percent of everyone surveyd — are either very likely or somewhat likely to use a newspaper’s app for reading news. Even among light news readers, the study indicated apps are the preferred method of delivery for news consumers over websites.

“These findings are encouraging for newspaper publishers who plan to begin charging for subscriptions on their iPad app editions early next year, but our survey also found a potential downside: iPad news apps may diminish newspaper print subscriptions in 2011,” Roger Fidler, RJI’s program director for digital publishing and the research project leader, said in a statement.

In total, the survey found three-quarters of respondents consume news for at least 30 minutes on their iPad, with nearly half saying they do so for an hour or more. iPad users are typically more male, well-educated, affluent and between the ages of 35 and 64.

According to the report, the iPad also encourages other news consumption, as the study found the more a person uses an iPad to consume news, the more he or she is likely to use other digital media to consume news.

When it comes to overall experience consuming news on an iPad, respondents were asked to rate their reading experience on the iPad compared to other media on a five-point scale. Respondents said iPad reading experiences were somewhat better than, or about the same, as experiences reading printed newspapers or magazines.

A total of 48.1 percent said the iPad news experience was better than the iPhone’s.

Age also plays a role in iPad experience, as older users tend to say the device is worse than the traditional newspaper-reading experience. Older users, however, said the iPad was better than other electronic devices with smaller screens for news consumption.

The study noted iPad users would be more likely to buy newspaper apps for “a price lower than the price of a print subscription.” Reliability and ease-of-use were also important among iPad users.

So which news organizations have the highest-rated news apps? According to this survey, the most popular responses were: The New York Times, USA Today, The Associated Press, and The Wall Street Journal.

More details on this report can be found here.

[Cross-posted to Future of Media]