A Google Paid Content System For Publishers May Be Coming By Year-End

Posted on June 22, 2010

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Google, which had hinted for nearly a year now that it was working on building some sort of paid content system for publishers.

Google is planning to launch a paid content system for publishers before the end of the year, reports, um, paidContent, citing a report in the Italian newspaper La Repubblica.

According to paidContent, the search giant has been hinting at plans to build “some sort of paid content system” for nearly a year. Now, La Repubblica reports that Google is reaching out to publishers to get them to sign up for the system, which it’s calling Newspass.

According to the Italian paper, Newspass appears to have many elements of a paid content proposal Google made to the Newspaper Association of America last fall. At the time, Google said it was “uniquely positioned to help publishers create a scalable ecommerce system via our Checkout product and also enable users to find this content via search — even if it’s behind a paywall.”

“La Repubblica says that, with Newspass, people will be able to log-in to the sites of participating news publishers using a single login,” writes paidContent. “Publishers will be able to designate what type of payment they want to accept, including subscriptions and micropayments … People who find content from participating publishers in Google search will see a paywall icon next to that content and be able to purchase access directly from there using Checkout.”

If the reports are true, Google’s paid content product could spell trouble for a number of other organizations and companies presently developing similar products for publishers.

“Any service by Google could rival online payment platform Journalism Online, which last summer announced it had signed up more than 500 magazines and newspapers worldwide,” writes the UK-based Marketing Week. Meanwhile, “In March Microsoft search director Stefan Weitz told new media age the company is working to help newspapers [monetize] their content through search engines.”

Still, “A common payment pool is really something the content industry should have introduced a decade ago,” writes The Register. “There’s a precedent in the airlines setting up shared reservations systems such as Sabre and Galileo, and the mobile manufacturers setting up Symbian.”

So “Is this the future of premium content on the Internet?” The New Web asks. “Though some publishers believe so (just look at the catastrophe surrounding The Wall Street Journal), the commonly held belief is that any paid content system is going to take a lot of work before it would be accepted on a global scale.”

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Posted in: Google