Google 'Newspass' to save the newspaper industry?

June 19, 2010: 10:23 AM ET

According to a report from Italy, Google plans to release a micro-payment system that will link to paid newspaper content directly from search results.

Italian newspaper La Repubblica is reporting that Google has been contacting Italian newspapers (wonder how they found out?!) about a new service called 'Newspass' which will be released later this year.  Newspass will provide news organizations with micro-payments for direct links to their properties from Google News.  The move is likely in response to an Italian publishers organization/antitrust authority who is reviewing Google's relationship with the newspaper industry.  However, the move could have implications on the global newspaper industry.

Here's how the system would work: When users do a Google News search, they will receive both paid and unpaid results.  If users choose to click on the paid results (which will denote the cost), they will be charged a fee through Google Checkout.  If they refuse payment (or don't have/want to have Google checkout) they won't be able to see the content.


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