Google Announces One Pass Subscription Service, Rivals Apple

Google announced a new subscription payment service today called One Pass. Google One Pass is toting itself as a "purchase-once, view-anywhere" service, enabling users to view subscription based e-content on any device.

In yet another conveniently-timed announcement from Google, the service announcement comes just one day after Apple's controversial subscription service announcement. Unlike Apple, however, Google does not seem keen to take 30% away from publishers who use the service. Google is quick to point out that publishers will decide the price and terms of content offered via One Pass. Google's fee for publishers who use the service will only be 10% and all payments will be processed through Google Checkout, which means they should be able to skim a little more there, too.

The appeal of Google's plan lies, again, in its simplicity. Publishers get control of their pricing, without the expense of a back-end system to manage it. Google will also be allowing publishers access to the names and email addresses of their customers, essentially becoming a true middle man payment service, as opposed to Apple's plan which looks at consumers as Apple customers, not the publishers'.

According to a Financial Times article, Google's head of news partnerships in Europe was quoted saying, "The publisher ... would own the customer data for the transaction."

Consumers will get a one-stop shopping experience for all their favorite periodicals and subscription services. Of course, they will have the continued convenience of using their existing Gmail accounts for payment and managing subscriptions. Google is promising consumers the content will be a one-time payment for all devices, stating the service works across multiple sites with one, management system. The service even will allow transactions to take place within mobile apps.

Google One Pass is currently available in the US, Canada, France, Germany, Spain and the UK. However, as long as Google Checkout is available in a particular country, publishers can use Google One Pass for their service.

Here's a video Google is providing about One Pass

What do you think? Would you prefer Google over the iTunes store?

About the author

A seasoned Web developer since 1993, Thom is a technical SEO and digital analytics veteran. Thom started his first Web consultancy, New York Web Works, in 1997 and never looked back. His current role as Director of Analytics at Acronym puts him on the forefront of analyzing websites of some of the biggest brands.

Part of the ClickZ Academy faculty, Thom has also taught for several well-respected colleges and universities. A ghost author of over a dozen technical training manuals, Thom has written for several industry blogs. He is a regular speaker at ClickZ Live events and is also a veteran of TEDx.