Google’s timing couldn’t be better: Just a few weeks ago, Apple decided that they would start killing off eBook publishers (as well as other content providers) by making it mandatory that apps have an option to buy content via in-app purchases. This allows Apple to take an Al-Caponic slice of the profits for themselves, potentially eliminating the publisher’s profit margins.
“One Pass”, a payment system that gives publishers the control, is Google’s solution to the problem. Instead of pocketing 30%, Google takes a reasonable 10% off the top, giving publishers much more flexibility. Essentially, One Pass is a tool that allows publishers to manage the sale of content by providing an easy-to-use interface for altering the price and business model (e.g. subscriptions, day passes, pay-per-article).
By providing a system for user authentication, payment processing, and administration, Google One Pass lets publishers focus on creating high quality content for their readers. Publishers have flexibility over payment models and control over the digital content for which they charge and the content that is free for consumers.
Apple’s draconian policies are truly hurting the industry, but if publishers choose One Pass over the App Store for providing content, it could pressure Apple into lowering their rates.