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Google undercuts Apple's digital subscriptions


By Nicole Kobie

Posted on 16 Feb 2011 at 15:39

Google has unveiled a digital subscription system, a day after Apple revealed its own controversial in-app subs rules.

Google's One Pass will let publishers sell content via tablets, smartphones and websites, taking a 10% cut of sales.

Apple takes a 30% cut of all subscriptions bought in-app, and requires all subscription-related firms to sell in-app as well as via the web - a move which has angered streaming service Rhapsody, which said the new system would make it impossible to break even.

Reports suggest Google moved its subscription system up after the launch of Apple's subscription service, possibly trying to take advantage of publishers' concerns about how the rules would affect their digital profits.

"Our goal is to provide an open and flexible platform that furthers our commitment to support publishers, journalism and access to quality content," said Lee Shirani, director of business product management at Google Commerce, in a blog post.

Publishers can use Google's One Pass to charge using different subscription models, "offering subscriptions, metered access, 'freemium' content or even single articles for sale from their websites or mobile apps," Shirani said, adding free subscriptions could also be offered.

All payments will go through Google's Checkout system.

Users won't be limited to using one device to access a subscription, Google said. "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," said Shirani.

Google One Pass is immediately available in the UK, as well as across Europe and North America.

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User comments

Apple takes a 30% cut of all subscriptions

Ahhh, those blissed out sandal wearing hippies at Apple, sticking it to "The Man" once again.

Fight the power brothers!

By Lacrobat on 16 Feb 2011

Spread the word

Start a revolution - turn off your idevice on the 28th February, don't log into your itunes account - or send Mr Jobs and Angry Email.

Whatever people do - they should make a change - if the mid east can topple governments then people around the world can topple Apple

By nicomo on 17 Feb 2011

Your comment made me laugh Nicomo. I am already resolved to Apple not receiving more of my money. My ipod classic is my only apple device and that is how it shall stay.

By jonners99 on 18 Feb 2011

Google more Publisher friendly..

Way to stick it to 'the man' Google!

How dare Apple insist on publishers to provide a simple unified alternative (read 'alternative', NOT replacement) subscription method without having to log in to a dozen other user id's on a dozen other publisher sites and entering your payment details a dozen times..

How dare apple take 0% cut of subscriptions if the user is already subscribed directly to the publisher..

And how dare they allow the consumer to control what private data the publisher gets to see and therefore sell to third-parties (as they have done for an eternity..).

The utter gall of it!

By ihsan on 18 Feb 2011

Google two months later !!!

applied for this one pass system, in fact twice, but wait a minute
Google two months later have still not responded to our application,
what a let down. to what could be a great service! still waiting Google!

By voyana on 7 Jun 2011

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