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Apple and Google Open a New Digital Battlefront: Mobile Content Subscriptions

Feb 16, 2011  •  Post A Comment

Less than a day after Apple unveiled a sweeping subscription plan for digital content, Google jumped into the arena as well, announcing today that it has its own new service, Business Insider reported.

The Google service, One Pass, lets publishers set a price at which they will give users access to their content for a given period of time. Users can then access the content across the Web, on smartphones and on tablets. Payment for the service is handled by Google’s Checkout system, which has met with less than rave reviews so far, the story notes.

Terms for publishers were not announced, but insiders have been saying Google will ask for 10% of revenues, which is a better deal for publishers than they’re getting from Apple. Apple reportedly requests 30% of digital sales.

Apple’s subscription service for mobile apps, announced Tuesday, works through the company’s App Store, where digital content providers must offer their material for mobile apps at the same price they charge for it elsewhere on the Web.

That requirement, combined with the 30% cut for Apple, has been poorly received by content providers, the story says. Music subscription service Rhapsody has been among the most vocal critics of the Apple plan, going so far as to suggest that music services might join forces to consider legal action against Apple.

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