It looks like we’ll be getting a “Hulu for magazines” early next year but the digital storefront will be for Android only initially, as publishers are still waiting and struggling with Apple’s iOS platform.
Next Issue Media will launch its Hulu for magazines in early 2011 and says that it’s ready to support Apple but it’s focusing on Android because it’s a “very important tablet platform, and a very important platform for smartphones.” The Galaxy Tab is just the first of many Android tablets that we can expect to see, as Motorola, LG, Sony Ericsson and HTC are probably all prepping tablets that will be powered by the little, green robot.
The Hulu for magazines may also be choosing Android first because it will offer more palatable conditions for the publishers than Apple’s platform. Many would argue that the iPad is one of the ideal devices for digital magazines but Apple’s iTunes distribution model can present some problems for magazine publishers.
Wired and Sports Illustrated offer beautiful iPad apps of its monthly magazines but there’s currently no way to offer users a subscription plan. So, that means you’ll be shelling out nearly $5 per issue even though a subscription plan could make it much cheaper. Apple also gets a 30% cut of those revenues.
That would probably be palatable for many magazine publishers but Apple also gets to keep the demographic data of the users, which is vital to magazine publisher’s advertising department. That may be the biggest reason the Hulu for magazines is coming to Android first.
To its credit, Apple understands this issue and it is reportedly prepping a subscription service which could address the industry’s concerns. I’d expect there to be a subscription option, as well as a data-sharing agreement which could make both sides happy.
What do you think readers? Are you excited about a Hulu for magazines on Android?
[Via All Things D]