Google is working on a micropayment system that would allow newspapers to easily charge for online content, the web search giant has revealed in a proposal to the Newspaper Association of America.
In the proposal, which was released on the internet Thursday, Google said that its micropayment system would be up and running within the year and would enable simple payment of one cent to several dollars.
However Google clarified that it did not believe that the scheme would be the salvation of newspapers, which have seen their circulation dramatically decline as readers view articles online, often through free news aggregators like Google News.
"While we believe that advertising will likely remain the main source of revenue for most news content, a paid model can serve as an important source of additional revenue," the company said in its proposal.
Google said its system would be integrated with its current Checkout online payments system and would allow users to utilise one sign on to access various media, while publishers would be able to bundle several titles in a single subscriptions. Google will take an unspecified cut of the revenue generated by publishers, the memo said.