Google trials monetising online journalism

Poor old Rupert Murdoch. News Corp isn’t happy with the huge media monopoly it has and has put up paywalls for The Times very recently. iPad apps are the way forward, and Google News is killing, uh, news.

He won’t like this: Google is launching something called Newspass over in Italy which will let readers use just one log-in to access a slew of subscription websites, and you’ll be able to pay either by subscription or by individual micropayments.

And the range of titles will all be searchable under the Google Newspass moniker. At the moment it’s Italy only, but it could be a more effective way to charge for a large range of content online rather than weeing money up the wall for The Times when all you want to do, really, is read a Giles Coren anecdote loosely tied in to restaurant reviews or Caitlin Moran taking on Lady Gaga.

La Republicca says that later on this year, Google will launch its payment system which will allow users to buy with one click, while publishers will be able to use a single infrastructure to get their content across on web, mobile and tablet platforms. Google is apparently already in touch with publishers to see who wants in on the trial.

It’ll be interesting to see how Rupe’s plans for paid sites pan out. If a system like this takes off, it’ll be less a case of Google “stealing” – as Rupes puts it – his news, and instead a willingness from the newspapers to have their content aggregated for a fee. Google won’t be killing news, but it could be killing News Corp. The potential’s there. We saw this at the  Press Gazette