Google has announced a new subscription service called One Pass, which will allow publishers to create a centralised system for "user authentication, payment processing and administration".
One Pass will take a 10% cut of the cash collected, with 90% going straight to the publishers. This will be a welcome alternative to Apple's draconian model which takes a significant 30% of each transaction. However, Google will also be providing publishers with the names and email addresses of subscribers, something which Apple has refused to do.
Furthermore, One Pass will work across multiple websites and platforms, so it will be possible to purchase content once and then view it on all your different devices. This will also allow publishers greater flexibility over the type of subscription service they wish to utilise (e.g. day passes, metered access, pay-per-view, etc) as users will not have to purchase their content multiple times.
Payment for One Pass subscriptions will be made through Google Checkout, something already utilised for app purchases in the Android Market. However, it is unclear whether the One Pass model will also be used for in-app purchases in the Android Market. If the system for purchasing publications through the Android Market is made simple, newspapers and magazines will flock to the platform and will start offering their publication on Android devices. This is great news for users as it will mean that there will be a greater variety of content. I can't wait to flick through the Economist on a Motorola XOOM tablet!
Have a look at Google's explanatory video, which is very pretty but does not really provide any insight into the service:
One Pass is currently only open to a select few content publishers (in France, Germany, Spain, UK, US and Canada), however if you are interested in having your publication included in One Pass let Google know.
Finally, hit up the link to read more details on Google's new subscription service.