Google One Pass is in-app purchases on steroids
Just 12 hours after I wrote the story about Rhapsody starting a war against Apple’s new subscription requirement, one of our frequent commenters tipped me about about Google’s new system for offering different types of content purchases. Announced today, Google One Pass is not a requirement like the one Apple presented, but rather an optional system that lets content publishers charge money in different ways. Aside from straight up subscription models, One Pass also has systems to handle metered access (you get access to X amount of content per dollar) as well as subscription packages that are limited by number of articles, number of clicks etc. One Pass uses Google Checkout, and lets users log on to different services with a single login- basically what PayPal has done for online shopping, in other words.
One thing that Google did not say anything about was how much of the money flowing through One Pass that they would keep. Speculation say 10%, which (if true) is not only drastically less than what Apple keeps, but also drastically less than what Google themselves keep when it comes to the Android app store (note: One Pass is not Android-specific, but will likely be used for Android as well). I am pretty sure that the negative press Apple has gotten is why they suddenly decide to “go on sale”, and I have to wonder what will happen if Google offers a cheaper option to their own system. Will we start seeing lots of free Android apps with a one-time in-app “subscription” purchase that unlocks the full features, just so developers get to keep 20% more, or will Google change their Android policy as well? Then again the 10% rumor might just be a rumor- time will tell. Either way this system sounds great, and if they can pull it off then purchasing digital content will get a lot easier for all of us.