Yesterday Apple unveiled its new in-app subscription service which will make it easier for customers pay for newspaper, magazine, or digital media subscriptions — but which can cause all sorts of problems for publishers thanks to Apple’s insistence on taking a 30% cut of all revenue.

Today Google unveiled its own digital content payment system which appears to offer better terms for publishers — although that won’t help much if you want to charge for subscription-based apps on the iPhone or iPad.

Google’s new service is called Google One Pass. First, as the name suggests, the focus is on making content available across multiple platforms. Publishers can use One Pass to let customers sign up once and access media on a phone, tablet, or web site using the same username and password.

Google also gives publishers control over how they charge for content. Publishers can set prices, determine whether to offer subscriptions, metered access, or offer individual articles for one-time payments. Transactions are handled through Google Checkout.

One Pass publishes will still have to fork over some cash to Google, but Google’ share is just 10% rather than the 30% Apple is charging. Still, that’s more than the 2% transaction fee Google usually scrapes off the top of individual purchases made through Google Checkout.

Brad Linder

Brad Linder is editor of Liliputing and Mobiputing. He's been tinkering with mobile tech for decades and writing about it since...