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Feb 16, 2011

Google-Apple Smack Down

Apple and Google are going at it for the future of publishing! What does it all mean? Frankly, I have no idea. I'm hoping to sort through all of this and figure out what this means for writers, readers and books.

Here's how Google responded to Apple's subscribtion model:
Here’s the key nugget that everyone seems to be overlooking:
With Google One Pass, publishers can maintain direct relationships with their customers and give readers access to digital content across websites and mobile apps.
I’ve confirmed that this means that customer information collected by Google will be shared with publishers. What kind of information? Name, zip code, and most importantly, email addresses. Billing information will not be shared, we’re told. Users can choose to opt-out of sharing this information, but they’ll have to explicitly do so. By default, the information is shared.
And as we’ve talked about before, that’s a huge win for publishers who mainly fear these online subscription services because it could mean giving up their all-important rolodex of customer information. You know, the information they use to market stuff to you. With Google’s system, they’ll be able to maintain at least part of that direct relationship.
And that’s important because with Apple’s system, publishers are getting the shaft. The way Apple set it up, user data can be shared with publishers — but only if the users themselves explicitly choose to share it. When you subscribe to a publication, a pop-up appears asking if you’d like to allow the publisher to get your contact information. There are two options: “Allow” and “Don’t Allow”. It’s a simple option that will make sense to customers. But it also means that basically no one is going to share such information. Who in their right mind would?
Well, unless it’s shared for you, that is.
There is no question that Google’s system will be more flexible for publishers. And yes, Google will be keeping only 10 percent of the revenue from sales, as opposed to the 30 percent that Apple is keeping. But from a user perspective, given the data sharing situation, there’s no question that Apple’s system is more favorable.

1 comment:

Jacqueline Howett said...

Thanks for the information. Haven't quite digested all this as yet, but I'll keep an eye on it.