Today Google launched Google One Pass which is a “payment system that enables publishers to set the terms for access to their digital content.” Google One Pass was announced by Eric Schmidt at Humboldt University in Berlin a day after Google’s rival Apple announced a similar service. With Google One Pass publishers will be able to sell content that users can view on websites as well as hand held devices such as smart phones and tablet PCs.

Google’s pricing structure is a direct take-on of Apple’s subscription service. Apple would retain 30 percent of any sale of digital content within an iPhone or iPad app — on the contrary Google will take a 10 percent slice of the sale price. Google One Pass is currently restricted to online newspapers and magazines. Upon purchasing digital content such as news story or a magazine article Google will share customer’s name, post code and email address to the content provider unless users opt out or sharing personal information.

The most interesting aspect of Google One Pass is the freedom it gives digital content publishers in terms of monetization model. Publishers can find a feasible model by experimenting with subscriptions, metered access, “freemium” or even selling single articles on demand through their websites or mobile applications. Furthermore, Google One Pass will allow publishers set their own prices and terms for their content. Google’s  announcement is a strategic move to boost its Android platform which is directly in competition against Apple’s iPhone/iPad technology.

Google One Pass is currently available for publishers in Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the U.K. and the U.S.