Google Marketplace needs subscription plans for better monetization of content

Posted by Charbax – May 28, 2011

There are some talks in some blogs about Android app revenues versus iOS. While it's true iPhone users usually are the types of people ready to spend more money on things like the Apple appstore and iTunes for on-demand paid app and content downloads. Android on the other hand does show they can generate more revenues for example for the creators of Angry Birds who are making 2x more money today every day being a free app on Android compared to being a paid app on iOS.

While Google can improve monetization through advertising and Google Wallet features, carrier billing and more, that is great. But here is how Google will totally dominate in the world of Apps, Music, Movies, eBooks and more.

Google can implement an app subscription plan in the Google Marketplace, $3/month for unlimited apps (developpers can opt-out or opt-in in a one-click email..), and the whole paid app business model will be removed. $3/month for unlimited access to apps including automatic app updates is fair. It'll be paid automatically through carrier billing in most cases. Google can thus have an extra $5 Billion in revenues per year for Android app developers, considering 150 million Android users can opt-in to pay $3/month ($36/year) for unlimited apps.

That $5 Billion per year can get distributed to all developers based on the popularity and based on the amount of use (can be counted by the second if the Android user allows Google to monitor that). As well as by the ratings, comments and other types of measurable user feedback. Creators of free Android apps will receive a windfall of new revenues from this subscription model, and creators of paid apps will also actually discover that being part of the $3/month subscription access, they will also make significantly more revenues as long as they make quality apps that many people download and use.

That would be just the app subscription plan revenue.

Google can do the same for eBooks, Music, Movies, Chrome Web Store Web-apps and more. Here are the fair subscription prices that I expect Google to introduce:

- $3/month for unlimited Apps (Android and Web Apps)
- $5/month for unlimited Music
- $10/month for unlimited Video (YouTube, Movies and TV)
- $2/month for unlimited Text (eBooks, Blogs and Newspapers)

Google can thus provide an all-content subscription plan: $20/month for unlimited access to everything.

This is where Google either waits for Governments to implement this, or else they can implement it now themselves as a private corporation, but as a corporation that is interested to provide open platform for better monetization of content. Google could thus suggest that they don't have to be the only ones thus handling the subscription money. Where Google may or may not take a 2-5% transaction fee on the subscription plan, the important thing is that the majority, more than 95% needs to get distributed to the content makers. Thus Google wouldn't mind if other reliable companies charge the same subscription fee, and Google still contributes to provide their statistics on the popularity and rated quality of all the content. Google could even suggest that it would be most fair if this type of monthly subscription plan was even at some point automatically collected as a tax by fair Governments on all citizen of the world. If everyone pays through taxes, unlimited access to content online may end up being closer to $10/month per person or less.

The big established Labels, Movie Studios, TV Networks, Book Publishers, Newpapers and Proprietary app makers initially may want to opt-out from the cheap global subscription model, sure they might. On one hand Google cannot prevent users from still using as much alternative BitTorrent dowloading as they want. On the other hand, the pure economics of the subscription model will prevail, and while old content monopolies loose their control on content distribution, they will also realize that the subscription model is the best way to proceed and is the best way to increase content revenues and at the same time discourage piracy through a fair subscription pricing. Also, Google can provide content owners the choice to offer their on-demand paid content not for free but at a rebate for people who have that all access subscription. Thus new movie releases could be $2 instead of $4 for all-access subscribers, ebooks could be $5 instead of $10 for all-access subscribers. But content owners can quickly calculate that it mostly makes more sense to provide free access to content for the all-access subscribers, as new releases get more demand, those content creators also in turn automatically get paid much higher share from the global all-access subscription system.

Google can also continue to provide advertising revenues for all content makers which they will also work to increase through Google Wallet easy payments thus much higher advertising revenue.