In a statement at the Berlin’s Humboldt University on Wednesday, Google’s CEO Eric Schmidt said the company has launched a new online payment system- Google One Pass, that lets publishers set their own prices and terms for digital content. Three German publishers, including the nation’s leading Axel Springer AG took part in the launch.

# New revenue stream
# Purchase-once, view-anywhere functionality
# Ability to give access to existing subscribers
# Lightweight technology implementation
# Business model flexibility (e.g., subscriptions, day passes, metered access, pay-per-article, multi-issue packages)

In addition to Germany, One Pass is also available to publishers in Canada, France, Italy, the U.K. and the U.S.

“We aren’t in this to make money, Google makes money in other ways,” Schmidt said. “We are trying to get money to people who are producing high quality content.”

The service allows publishers to maintain direct relationships with their customers and to decide whether they want to charge for content or give it away. Users can subscribe using a single sign-on with an e-mail account and a password that works on all devices.

Schmidt also announced Google was funding a Berlin-based institute in conjunction with Humboldt University that would examine the evolution of the Web, Internet and the impact it has had on society.

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