Thursday, July 7

Google Prepping e-Kiosk for Android Devices

The internet and digital content have challenged the newspaper industry for years and the recent explosion of interest in tablet and MID devices represents an opportunity for media companies to increase digital revenue. While the question of how big-name newspapers plan to take advantage of digital media on mobile devices is something everyone wonders, who will help them is fast becoming an equally important issue.

In September, Apple’s rumor mill reported that Cupertino was planning a foray into the newspaper subscription market. Publishers of some magazines, such as Sports Illustrated and Men’s Health, are already making money from digital content on Apple devices by offering subscriptions through iOS apps. However, the startup would see Apple share user data obtained from optional subscribers with publishers. Publishers could use it to attract advertisers. In exchange for this information, Apple would get a share of the profits.

Now, it appears that Google is hoping to attract publishers as well, as the Wall Street Journal reports that Google is planning its own digital newsstand. Sources familiar with the matter told the magazine that the news post would include apps from media companies that offer versions of their posts for Android smartphones or tablets. Google has apparently discussed the company with various publishers, including Time, Condé Nast and Hearst Corp. It is said on the street that the search giant is telling publishers that it will take a smaller share of subscription revenue than Apple.

Media executives say the details and timing are still up in the air. Officially, Google has confirmed that it is working with publishers, but insists it has nothing to announce at this time.

Read more in the Wall Street Journal.

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