In an announcement that comes one day after Apple stirred up the publishing world with its new subscription feature for the App Store, Google is entering the arena with a digital subscription model of its own: "One Pass."
Google One Pass allows publishers to extend and control subscriptions across the Web, phones and tablets. It's being largely positioned as an olive branch to those publishers who feel that Apple is strong arming them with subscription models available on its iOS devices.
Whereas Apple charges a 30% fee for subscriptions sold via the App Store, Google will only claim 10% of sales on One Pass, which operates through the preexisting Google Checkout system. And while Apple does not share any information on subscribers unless those subscribers volunteer it, Google will share names, zip codes and email addresses with publishers unless the subscriber opts out.
One Pass is currently limited to newspapers and magazines and focuses on online content as opposed to content distributed as an app. On a phone or tablet, it's likely that users would need to fire up the web browser in order to access their One Pass subscriptions via their Google accounts.
The new system benefits publishers by allowing them an easy, pre-fab method for charging for digital content and providing a range of payment strategies: be it per week, month, year, or even article.
But it won't help publishers when it comes to apps. Apple still holds the keys to that kingdom.