WSJ: Google may launch digital newsstand

The Wall Street Journal
Google may build a digital newsstand for Android to compete with a similar service offered by Apple via its iTunes store.

Russell Adams and Jessica Vascellaro report Google has discussed the project with several major publishers including Time Inc., Condé Nast and Hearst. Those three companies are also among the early backers of the Next Issue Media coalition that is expected to launch an independent smart phone and tablet newsstand early this year. It is unclear how, or if, the two initiatives are related.

According to Adams and Vascellaro, Google is proposing terms that are more publisher-friendly than those currently offered by Apple, including lower fees and access to customer information.

Last month, Ken Doctor reported Apple was planning to modify its own newsstand policies to allow recurring subscriptions and increased sharing of customer data. Adams and Vascellaro write that, under Apple's plan, subscriber information would be shared on an "opt-in" basis, meaning publishers, by default, would not have access.


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