If the question of how exactly to get money out of readers online wasn’t complex enough already, Google is presenting one more option.
La Reppublica reported last week that Google will soon introduce a product that will allow readers to buy content from behind different paywalls with one click. The E-ZPass of news, it’s called Newspass.
Just last week, News Corp. threw its weight behind a similar platform, Journalism Online, which has stirred up plenty of interest but not much confidence among publishers. Steve Brill said that over 1,500 publishers have signed letters of intent to use his Journalism’s Online’s system, but only half a dozen have installed it on their sites.
David Carr writes that this is “probably not great news for Journalism Online.” Mr. Carr described Google as the Goliath to News Corp. and Journalism Online’s David.
Google’s Newspass seems to offer the same services as Journalism Online — it accomodates different types of pay models and will provide consumers with one account to use across sites. But, that said, people are already comfortable using Google, which gives it an advantage.
Distracting readers from their news experiences is one of the largest considerations in the discussion about how to charge readers, and worrying about who is handling your transaction could be a large distraction.