Google One Pass Balances Aggressive Apple Subscription Model

By Clint Boulton  |  Posted 2011-02-19 Print this article Print

title=Analysts Debate the Merits of Apple Vs. Google Subscriptions}

Forrester Research analyst James McQuivey applauded Google for stepping up to challenge Apple. However, McQuivey argued in a blog post that the publishers' fees are still too high, compared with, say, single-digit percentage payment processing fees incurred by credit card companies such as American Express or Visa.

"The market desperately needs some competition to emerge to guide Apple away from such autocratic decisions," McQuivey told eWEEK. "It will be to everyone's long-term benefit to see some real competition emerge here, and Android is the only shot we have at that competition in 2011."

He ultimately expects more players to emerge, driving down subscription fees.  

Gartner analyst Michael Gartenberg said it was too early to say whether Apple's subscription model or Google One Pass will rule the day.

For one, there are still too many unanswered questions surrounding One Pass, such as whether a subscriber can redirect consumers to their own billing system without having to go through Google.

Moreover, Gartenberg said Apple's 30 percent fee might seem cheap to publishers, relative to the cost of acquisition of new customers today.

"Over time, the question is going to be how many publishers are going to be able to afford not to want to deal with Apple's customers," he told eWEEK. "Apple's customers are a pretty lucrative demographic."

In any case, it's too early to predict a winning platform yet without seeing both rev up in action.

As for the antitrust issues, One Pass may have helped Apple in that regard because it offers a viable alternative to a system some publishers find untenable, according to Eric Goldman, associate professor, Santa Clara University School of Law.

"Google's entree into the publisher aggregation business is good evidence of competition in that niche," Goldman told eWEEK.

However, without the benefit of understanding Apple's situation fully, he noted that even if Google poses a serious threat in the publisher aggregation business, it's possible that Apple may still be crossing antitrust lines.     



Submit a Comment

Loading Comments...
Manage your Newsletters: Login   Register My Newsletters

Rocket Fuel