App Publishers Rebel Against Apple. Google Offers A Solution?

We’re starting to see some significant backlash over the new subscription charges announced by Apple. Now a source tells us that Google (NSDQ: GOOG) could try to use to destabilisation to its advantage…

According to one publisher that contacted mocoNews, Google plans to release the details of its own in-app billing service, possibly as soon as today. Like any company looking to gain more marketshare and revenue, Google looks like it wil undercut its competitor Apple (NSDQ: AAPL). The in-app subscription charge, according to the publisher, will offer users a 10:90 split.

If correct, this would make Google a much more alluring partner than Apple on revenue shares alone because Apple will be applying its usual 30:70 revenue share split to its subscription model. Some publishers, particularly those that aggregate others’ content into storefronts within the app, have been complaining about Apple’s offer because it will cut too far into their own margins.

We have reached out to Google for comment and to ask more questions about whether this will be a mandated subscription plan; whether publishers will be able to use something else; and — importantly — who will get to “own” the subscriber.

Other publishers are already starting to go on record with their complaints about Apple’s proposed charges. In the U.S. music provider Rhapsody is considering how it might take legal action against Apple against the new rules. According to the LA Times, Rhapsody says that the commission cuts too far into its own revenues because it already pays 60 percent to music publishers. Publishers in Europe are also taking the matters to their legal teams.

Google talked about in-app billing when it first launched its Honeycomb operating system for tablets earlier this month. Coincidentally, that also took place one day after Apple co-launched the new News Corp (NSDQ: NWS). iPad newspaper The Daily. It was at that launch that Apple first officially revealed its in-app subscription service.