Google Newspass could be the Holy Grail for journalism online

Here’s a story to brighten up a Monday morning – Google could yet be the saviour of journalism.

It’s from La Repubblica via PaidContent. Apparently the online search giant is working with publishers in Italy on something called Newspass, which is an easy way to charge for journalism online.

Under the system readers could use a single log-in to access multiple subscription websites and pay via subscription or micropayments. Oh, and because Google is running it all content would still be searchable.

La Republicca reports:

Later this year, Google will launch a payment system integrated with the research that will allow users to buy with one click and publishers to use only one infrastructure for web, mobile and tablet to monetise their content. Newspass, the name of the platform is already being tested, and Google is contacting the publishing companies to explore their willingness to participate in the trial.

In short, it sounds like the Holy Grail for publishers who don’t think the ad-funded online model is going to work. Google aren’t saying anything, other than to say that they want to work with publishers to provide technology for subscription services.

Read the original La Repubblica story here, and the Google translation of it here

The Times and Sunday Times are set to go behind paywalls at the end of this month. Following the move, all content bar that which appears on the home-pages will be invisible to search engines.

It sounds like the Newspass system could be a way for publisher to charge for their content but still enjoy the huge benefits of it being at least partially visible to Google browsers.

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