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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Google's 'One Pass' Micro-Payment Model

For those not aware, Google Publishing has introduced a micro-payment (in other words: pay-per-piece) system called One Pass for content that readers may not want a complete subscription plan for.

Good idea for premium content...And Google will take a reasonable 10% for the set-up trouble.

This kind of model is great for allowing good writers to get paid for their product while still allowing readers to access targeted content at a reasonable price without having to subscribe to a bunch of extraneous data of no interest to them.

Seth Weintraub of Fortune 500 Tech/CNNMoney, spells out more details in this account of Focus Online, the third largest German publisher, trying out the new 'OnePass' model:

A German newspaper gives Google's One Pass a shot

Google's model of making a few bucks per article may make the most sense in the long run
Focus Online, the third largest German publisher, is Beta-testing Google's (GOOG) publishing system, according to the Guardian. The One Pass system is a web-based tool for publishers who want to charge micro-payments for content rather than use a subscription service. Each piece of content is paid for through Google's Checkout system and for the trouble, Google takes a 10% cut. Publishers decide how much to charge and can update the content at any time, rather than having to go though an app store approval process.

For Focus, One Pass is currently just an experiment, which they have very low expectations of monetary gains. They are charging 10 (Euro) cents per article of which Google will receive a penny per view.

We believe it could be a success but don't know yet. We don't expect it to make much money in the beginning. But if articles are relevant in the longer term then it could be a good way to earn money – I'd say 500 euros (£421) each year [5000 articles a year, or 14 articles a day] is okay for four or five years. This isn't about transforming our business, the majority of our income will be advertising for a long time to come, but it is about testing what else could work.

But will the system work?

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