Saturday - Sep 23, 2017

Larry Page and Eric Bryn reduced to selling newspapers

Larry Page and Eric Bryn reduced to selling newspapers

The news that Google were about to launch their own online payment platform that would provide subsidised access to both digital newspapers and magazines raised a few cyber eyebrows this week, especially as their online rivals Apple had launched a very similar but much more expensive service just a few days previously.

Google’s cut of revenue will be only ten percent for members of “Google One Pass,” scheme while Apple were looking to charge 30 percent for subscription holders through App Store applications for their highly popular iPhones, iPods and iPads.

In an age where the business traveller is looking to find constantly updated news covering a broad spectrum, and the only place that they are liable to find it is on line, this is good news for Google followers. The move will add a lot of attraction for those considering switching to Google’s Android smartphone and taking advantage of the software applications it contains.

What’s for sure is that Google have really thrown down the gauntlet to Apple with their announcement which seems to have really put their noses out of joint while no reaction has been forthcoming from Apple headquarters in Cupertino, California.

Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google was not slow to point out that they regard their One Pass scheme as a service to Android phone owners coupled with a realisation of the fact that increasingly more content will be only available online and at a cost. They see themselves forming a bridge between traditional print publishes who are finding it increasingly difficult to cope with the competition from the internet and the many millions of people who want to be kept up to date with what is happening. The subscriptions fees charged will be considerably less than any print version and by providing easy payment access at a substantially reduced cost, Google have earned themselves a major public relations coup.

Google were quick to emphasise in their recent press releases that the company will make no attempt to influence publishers on the prices that they will charge to the public and business community who access content through the Google One Pass System. Instead, they will be concentrating in building up their portfolio of online publications that Google One Pass will process payments for, while pointing out that the material can be reached not only through their Android application but also through tablets and conventional computers. No matter the media, Google One pass subscription holders will be able to log in in seconds through e-mail and password identification.

Currently, Google will be offering publications form Axel Springer AG, Focus Online and from Germany, France’s Le Nouvel Observateur and the Spanish publisher Prisa in Europe. In the USA Google will allow access to Rust Communications, Media General and the Bonnier Corp, publisher of the Popular Science magazine among others. The number of publishers who will now take advantage of Google’s generous gesture is expected to grow significantly, while the number of people waiting in the wings to see how Apple react to this digital slap in the face is expected to grow even faster.

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