Focus Online, Germany's third best read website, has quietly started trialing Google's new One Pass charging system.The general interest and news website offers around five features for sale each day, inviting users to go through Google's checkout system which was launched hard on the heels of Apple's new subscription service.
However, unlike Apple, which takes 30% of a publisher's revenue, Google at the moment is only taking a 10% cut. But the initiative is unlikely to create any new dot.com millionaires at the moment. The website is only charging 8p per item.
Head of communications at Tomorrow Focus, the parent company of Focus Online, Armnin Blohmann, told The Guardian, “It is just a test at this stage. We don't know yet whether it will be successful – it's just a small test – but we'll give it a couple of months and then make a decision on whether to go on with One Pass or not.
“This isn't about transforming our business, the majority of our income will be advertising for a long time to come, but it is about testing what else could work.”
Publishers will no doubt watch the trial with interest. However, many are suspicious of Google's 10% price point saying it might just be an introduction price from Google, which will increase its cut as the service becomes more established.