In their own ways, Google and Rhapsody have each fired back at Apple's recent subscription plans for content providers.
Google introduced One Pass, a service which sounds a lot what like Apple introduced yesterday. Google said One Pass lets publishers set their own prices and terms for their digital content. With it, publishers can have direct relationships with consumers and give readers access to digital content across websites and mobile apps.
The major difference between Apple's service for the App Store and Google One Pass is how much each company keeps from each transaction.. Apple said it keeps 30 percent of what content creators earn, while Google said it is charging 10 percent.
With Google One Pass, the company says publishers can customize how and when they charge for content while experimenting with different models to see what works best. This could mean subscriptions, metered access, freemium content or even single articles for sale from their websites or mobile apps.
Google CEO Eric Schmidt, who announced the new service at Berlin's Humboldt University, said it was very publisher-friendly. We basically don't make any money on this. The most important thing is to get the money to people who are producing high-quality content, Schmidt said.
According to Schmidt, One Pass will be available immediately in the U.K., U.S., Canada, France, Italy, Germany, and Spain. Other places will come later. The company said a number of publishers have already signed up for the service.
The 10 percent fee ought to sit better with Rhapsody, which provides a mostly music based subscription service, threatened to leave Apple's App Store.
Our philosophy is simple too -- an Apple-imposed arrangement that requires us to pay 30 percent of our revenue to Apple, in addition to content fees that we pay to the music labels, publishers and artists, is economically untenable. The bottom line is we would not be able to offer our service through the iTunes store if subjected to Apple's 30 percent monthly fee vs. a typical 2.5 percent credit card fee, said a statement released by the company.
Apple did not respond to a request for comment.
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