Shameless Google is getting ready to battle against Apple in yet another arena: Newspapers and Magazines. While it may make a bit more sense for Google to push into the digital newsstand space, we’re learning that the iPad can’t save the magazine, and so it’s not clear that Google’s attempt will fare any better.
The Google newsstand will allow those using Android phones and tablets to purchase digital magazines and newspapers all from one place. People familiar with the matter said that Big G has approached publishers like Time Warner, Condé Nast and Hearst Corp for their upcoming service. It’s rumored that Google could be willing to take a smaller percentage of every purchase, and may give users’ behavioral data to the publishers to help with marketing campaigns. In contrast, Apple takes 30% of the pie when content is purchased from the iTunes app store. How much less Google will take is unknown, but anything less will surely appeal to publishers.
“We’ve consistently said we’re talking with publishers about ways we can work together, including whether we can help them with technology for subscription services. We have nothing specific to announce at this time,” Google recently said during a statement.
While it’s good that publishers will have another outlet to get their content out to users, we hope that it won’t be a subscription-only service. Having to buy a full year, or even half a year of a magazine subscription would stop some people from pulling the trigger when all they want is to read one particular issue. If Google wants to take some share from Apple’s iTunes, then it needs to meet or exceed their opponents features if they want to compete out of the gate.
We’re not sure when this service will be announced, or whether or not it will be released along side the newer version of Android, Honeycomb. If that is the case, the Newsstand needs to work on previous versions of Android for people to take notice, but since this is just an application portal, it likely will.
We’ll be sure to keep you up to date as this story unfolds. Keep in mind, there’s a chance that nothing will come of this rumor. Fingers crossed!