Would a Google “Newspass” Work Better Than its Existing Paid Content Options?

    June 21, 2010
    Chris Crum

There is a rumor that has been floating around the web for a few days (apparently starting at Italian newspaper La Repubblica) that Google is working on something called Newspass, which would let users pay for news content across multiple publications that charge for content – another way for publishers to get paid and still utilize Google (Google already has a few ways).

According to the New York Times’ Media Decoder blog, Google has not denied that such a product is in the works, but gave the classic "we have nothing specific to announce at this time" response.

Rupert MurdochRupert Murdoch’s News Corp. recently offered $11.5 billion to acquire the rest of British Sky Broadcasting that it doesn’t already own leaving some to wonder just what the company is up to. "Analysts are wondering, for instance, whether Sky’s direct relationship with customers could be used as a way to market other News Corp. products and services," says the NYT’s Eric Pfanner.

Over 300 newspapers have joined forces with Ranger Data Technologies to launch a new online auction site (geared mainly at local auctions) that would compete with eBay. The goal for the newspapers is supplemental revenue. The site is called Boocoo, and it’s currently in beta.

A lot of people have considered the iPad to be a godsend for newspapers, but it turns out the newspaper apps available are getting a great deal of criticism for being too limited. Poynter has an interesting article looking at why the NYT designed its app in a limited fashion.