In the past 10 days, we've seen a huge buzz around the launch of Google One Pass. It is pretty amazing how a fairly simple solution can generate such hype. It seems the timing was really perfect, with a lot of frustration coming out of Apple's policies to charge 30% on all paid content, while Google only requires a 10% fee.
But there is a lot more than the % of revenue when it comes to making content monetization strategies a success, and one of the most critical is freedom of choice.
What does Google One Pass not solve?
While it addresses the need for single registration and cross-browser readership - similar to Cleeng - the challenge with One Pass is that it forces both Publishers and Users to get into a locked ecosystem, with limited flexibility toward future market evolutions. It limits freedom.
A- Freedom for Publishers:
- Control: Today Google is a publisher's best friend, but has it always been the case? Google currently controls about more than 1/3 of any publisher traffic. By also controlling access to what readers buy, it taking control of a role that used the be the publishers.
- Flexibility to adapt to the brand needs of publishers: For large publishers, the need to stay within a certain brand environment with their customers is critical and the capacity to nurture their installed base is at the core of their business models. Can One Pass adapt to such needs, and cope with their requirements?
- Innovation: In 2010, iPad was the buzz. This year, it looks like One Pass will be the publishing world's newest darling. What might come in 2012 and 2013...? The digital ecosytem is evolving extremely fast, and the need to adapt to upcoming technological innovations is fundamental for any publishers to survive. Look for example at the phenomenal growth of the Amazon Kindle (Businessweek).
B- Freedom for Users:
- Who you deal with? Most people love Google for search, and I do too. Yet, how many of us want to use Google to track what they read and what they buy? If I want to use my Facebook account, why shouldn't I be able to?
- How do I pay? You want to pay with PayPal, Google Checkout, or local credit cards, but also other methods of payment, including Facebook or Skype credit, airmiles. Why shouldn't that be possible?
- What's in it for me? Google solution sounds all good for publishers, including sharing very easily privacy data, yet, how to i truly get benefits as a user?
How to succeed?
We believe that, to become successful, the right content monetization model must provide:
- Positive social experience: A successful model must integrated both the interests of publishers and consumers. (see previous post). Buying and sharing content content should benefit everyone, including users. To mitigate such situation, we believe the right model should provide enough flexibility, and ultimately freedom of choice, for both users and publishers, so as to cope with the coming digital evolutions.
- Flexibility to choose who to work with: you want to use Facebook, Yahoo! or any other solution to register your users? This should be possible.
- Co-branding: As a publisher, do you want to adapt your user experience to have better engagement with customers? That should be possible too.
- Future proof: It is hard to predict who will win between Facebook, Apple, Google, or any newcomer. Whatever solution you choose should provide the right amount of flexibility to adapt to new technogies. How do you register? How you access it content? Does it work on Mac, PC, smarthones, TVs and more? It should all be flexible.
- Choice of payment method: Google Checkout is only used by a small fraction of internet users. This share is likely to grow as Android gets bigger. At some point, we think believe it might reach 20, 30, or even 40% penetration. But still, what about the remaining 60% of internet users. Giving users the choice between PayPal, Google Checkout, or local credit cards will drive higher content monetization.
That's why we believe Cleeng has a lot to offer to the industry and anyone looking for the best possible content monetization solution. One that gives flexiblity and freedom of choice, to both publishers and customers.
Let us know what you think.