Google One Pass sightings: 2 new paywalls
Google announced its One Pass paid content platform in February, immediately following Apple’s rollout of its subscription service for iTunes. While several publishers have launched subscription plans through iTunes, we haven’t heard much out of the Google camp. But there are signs of life, as Google One Pass has been spotted on two local news sites: The Southeast Missourian and The Richmond (Va.) Times Dispatch.
The two One Pass paywalls are different in their scope.
The Southeast Missourian, owned by Rust Communications, has launched a metered paywall that appears to cover all original news and features, which it deems as premium content. After a few clicks on article pages, a pop-up window explains that access to this content is limited to an (unspecified) number of specific views. Unlimited access is priced at $2.95 a month for print subscribers or $7.95 a month for digital-only access. A new print/digital subscription is $17.90 a month. The first month is free.
The site’s Customer Care page notes that visiting a link from social media sites or search engines “will not count toward your monthly limit of free articles.”
The Richmond (Va.) Times Dispatch, published by Media General, is piloting Google One Pass with a single premium content offering: a special report on the Civil War sesquicentennial that contains articles, videos and graphics. The paper has priced its premium content packages at $1.99 a month or $19.99 for an “annual pass.”
The Dispatch’s premium packages are separate from the paper’s print subscriptions. Subscriptions require a Google account and Google Checkout. Even if users have an existing log-in, they still need to sign in with their Google account to access the premium content.
Media General and Rust Communications were the two U.S. launch partners named at the Google One Pass rollout in February. I have interview requests into Media General, Rust and Google to learn more about the rollouts.