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Google One Pass gives publishers open e-book pricing

updated 11:05 am EST, Wed February 16, 2011

Google One Pass subs arrive as Apple clamps down

Google provided a possible out for publishers critical of iTunes subscription rules today by introducing One Pass at a Berlin event today. The subscription system gives readers a single sign-on to get access to digital magazines and newspapers while also deliberately loosening the restrictions on publishers. Unlike on Apple's store, publishers will still have the option of giving away free digital access with print subscriptions or using more varied options like metered access and "freemium" where the content is a mix of both free and paid.

The system uses Google Checkout but will reduce the dependency on a single OS to work, CEO Eric Schmidt said: users will just have to sign in again to get access to the same subscription on another platform. The company is also giving publishers a much larger 90 percent cut and will have access to subscriber information to better target ads.

One Pass is already live in North America and most of Western Europe. Major international and regional publishers such as Axel Springer and Popular Science owner Bonnier have already embraced the format.

While the timing with Apple's new subscription policy lockdown may be unintentional, the news came just as the Android tablet market opened up with the unveilings of the HTC Flyer, LG Optimus Pad and Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1. Most will be focusing on e-books as significant components and could use One Pass as a simple way to court publishers that can't afford to sell periodicals with the mandatory iTunes royalty cut or who are now banned from offering free digital copies for print editions.



By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. gprovida

    Junior Member

    Joined: Feb 2006

    +7

    Does The Customer Get a Vote on Sharing Personal I

    At the end of the day for subscriptions and newspapers the money is not made on sales [30% hit in retail stores], shipping handling etc. for subscriptions are expensive as well as managing accounts and credit cards. Apple provides huge forum, market, and convenience to customers to buy subscriptions. So really cost is misdirection, the real problem is getting customer information, effectively involuntarily under the current model for publishers.

    The big bucks are customer information not the sales of subscriptions. This is what is really driving the magazines and newspapers nuts. The voluntary nature and initially limited information aside from the sale goes to the heart of magazine and newspaper business.

    Again it is not the 30% cost [they cost structures may actually save money with Apple in-App], it is not that magazines and newspapers need to provide equal [or cheaper] option in-app [customer gets a choice and convenience and magazines et al get more customer exposure], it is not the "restaint" of trade [who is restrained?]-- it is the privacy that Apple affords its customers and the Magazines and Newspaper [as well as associated advertizers] object.

    So is Google going to provide each customer with an opt-in option and what informations is Google giving from its customers to magazines and newspapers and book publishers?

  1. exca1ibur

    Mac Elite

    Joined: Oct 2000

    +3

    Data Mining

    When the core of your business is data mining, I'm not surprised they got a deal that works well for publishers to negotiate pulling customer data.

  1. Eldernorm

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2007

    +1

    GOOGLE

    Google..... Stealing your info...... Its what we do. :-)

    Just a thought,
    en

  1. wrenchy

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Nov 2009

    -1

    If I'm going to buy


    anything, I'll buy it through Google.

    Apple is not getting my money.

  1. JLL

    Professional Poster

    Joined: Apr 1999

    +2

    Incorrect info

    "Unlike on Apple's store, publishers will still have the option of giving away free digital access with print subscriptions."

    That's not correct. The same is possible on iOS:

    "Publishers who use Appleā€™s subscription service in their app can also leverage other methods for acquiring digital subscribers outside of the app. For example, publishers can sell digital subscriptions on their web sites, or can choose to provide free access to existing subscribers"

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    -3

    Re: Does The Customer Get a Vote on Sharing Person

    At the end of the day for subscriptions and newspapers the money is not made on sales [30% hit in retail stores], shipping handling etc. for subscriptions are expensive as well as managing accounts and credit cards.

    It depends on the publication and the company. The fact is, many magazines and newspapers are published by companies that publish more than one thing. So, the costs of printing, shipping, billing, and marketing are shared across many different publications and make up far less cost than for a small, niche magazine.

    Apple provides huge forum, market, and convenience to customers to buy subscriptions. So really cost is misdirection, the real problem is getting customer information, effectively involuntarily under the current model for publishers.

    Huge is relative. Publications already have a huge forum and convenience for consumers to buy. h***, you can barely walk into a store and not see a magazine rack, let alone subscription options in various places.

    The big bucks are customer information not the sales of subscriptions. This is what is really driving the magazines and newspapers nuts. The voluntary nature and initially limited information aside from the sale goes to the heart of magazine and newspaper business.

    OK. So your point is, what exactly?

    Again it is not the 30% cost [they cost structures may actually save money with Apple in-App], it is not that magazines and newspapers need to provide equal [or cheaper] option in-app [customer gets a choice and convenience and magazines et al get more customer exposure], it is not the "restaint" of trade [who is restrained?]-- it is the privacy that Apple affords its customers and the Magazines and Newspaper [as well as associated advertizers] object.

    Yeah, that's it. It's all about the information. It isn't about giving Apple 30% for content which they have no cost in producing. Or about giving them 30% for services they never even asked them for, but are being forced to provide. Nor that they are forced to make sure Apple provides the 'best deal' to their customers, meaning they can't offer deals through any other type of marketing or venue (so, for example, if a company wants to do a deal with Pepsi to offer a discount on a subscription for 3 bottlecaps, they have to make sure that this is also offered through Apple, which blows the whole point of the marketing tie-in).

    No, it isn't that. Nor is it Apple using it's monopoly or near-monopoly position (and everyone here keeps telling us how the iOS marketshare crushes any of the competition, when there's a story about Android having a larger this or that, so they must have a monopoly then) in the world of portable devices to force publishers into sharing revenue with Apple, or else forgo the 'revolution' you all talk about the tablet-sphere is going to bring to media.

    No, it isn't that. It's ALL about the personal information.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    -2

    And

    Even if it were all about the personal information, as you state, then that means that is part of their revenue-generation from their subscriptions.

    Which means they will need to raise prices of their digital subscriptions in order to cover the lost revenues. Are you going to be one of those happy to pay more because your personal information is 'private'? Or are you going to be part of the chorus whining and crying that the publishers are greedy because they're charging the same for digital content as they do for printed content, even though "they don't have any of those publishing costs!".

    Nah, I'm sure you'll be stating that since its digital, it should be close to free, because we know that writers, editors, photographers, services, desktop publishing, etc, cost next to nothing.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    0

    One more thing

    And exactly how come people aren't up in arms over Apple using your location data on your iPhone to use for pushing iAds to your device, completely without your permission (and only able to disable by turning the GPS off altogether)?

    And where is Apple stating that they will not be sharing any of your personal information with their own iAd service unless you specifically state you want it to? For I know you want none of that shared, nor any ads targeted.

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