Report: Google Working on Android Newsstand

| Rumor

Google is trying to set up a digital newsstand for newspapers and magazines for Android devices, and is working to woo publishers to the service, according to The Wall Street Journal. The newspaper reported that Google is offering some publishers a higher percentage than the 70% Apple pays out, and the company is promising to hand over customer data, something Apple has been steadfast in refusing to do.

The report stipulated that its sources say naught may come of Google’s plans, but the company is interested in helping publishers actually collect money for publishing on the Android platform.

The Journal also reported that Apple is working on changes to its own App Store, including a long-expected plan to make it easier to sell subscriptions and an opt-in plan for App Store customers to share their name and e-mail addresses.

According to The Journal’s sources, publishers fear that few people would opt-in to Apple’s opt-in plan. When contacted by The Mac Observer for comment on this concern, several members of the world’s population said, “Duh.”

Android Newsstand

Publishers want total access to their subscribers’ information, which is a central point to existing publishing business models. Apple has heretofore not allowed developers, record labels, and TV studios access to that info (in a separate story, The Journal reported in December that some iOS developers were skirting Apple’s protections), but with publishers it has been more of a roadblock due to established advertising methods in the publishing industry.

“We know consumers want an ongoing relationship with our print and digital products, and we are working with all partners to achieve that,” Monica Ray, executive vice president of consumer marketing at Condé Nast, told the newspaper. “We also need commercial terms that we’re comfortable with.”

“In a subscription environment, we must maintain a direct relationship with the consumer,” Time Inc. CEO Jack Griffin said.

Condé Nast currently has several magazines and other apps on the App Store, including Wired, GQ, Vanity Fair, Epicurious Recipes & Shopping List, and others. Time Inc. offers TIME Magazine and People.

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Comments

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

Of course the big elephant in the room is that Apple, as the collector of all that personal information, is not just a reluctant broker, but an eager consumer. The “protections” that Apple carves out for customer data use by third parties do not apply to Apple. Developers should have been leery of this and pushed back before Apple achieved such power in the App Store dynamic. It’s interesting to me that (a) publishers actually thought they had enough power to push back on this and the developer tools front (Cond? Nast recently went back to a Flash-based platform) and (b) publishers actually do have that power, as evidenced by Google’s entry on very favorable terms to the publishers.

At some point, Apple is going to have to decide what is worth “protecting” its customers from. Because when Apple does not hold a dominant position (phones now, tablets in a year), the publishers will simply go to the lands of more favorable terms.

mhikl

Government should get involved, but of course this won’t happen. It will be “business” as usual and to h* with personal information that belongs solely to the individual. The choice of opting in, or at least the ability to opt out, is a no-brainer and all individuals deserve this choice.

Whether or not Apple collects and “uses” personal information that to others it won’t allow the same grace, may or may not be hearsay. If true, then there is the problem that it undermines Apple’s stand. If Apple’s high-mindedness is held in principle and practise for all, (including itself) then its principles cannot be argued, even by mindless spewers of hate.

Google et al. don’t even pretend to pretend to have ‘principles’ and probably can’t even spell the word correctly.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

Whether or not Apple collects and ?uses? personal information that to others it won?t allow the same grace, may or may not be hearsay. If true, then there is the problem that it undermines Apple?s stand. If Apple?s high-mindedness is held in principle and practise for all, (including itself) then its principles cannot be argued, even by mindless spewers of hate.

So you’re saying it undermines Apple’s stand. Because iAd has absolutely no value if ads cannot be targeted, even if that targeting is done behind the scenes out of the view of the public. Zero. None. Nil. Nada. And that even applies for the few giant brands that have jumped on board already to benefit from the Apple-ness of the ad platform.

If Apple were as idealistic in protecting your “privacy” as you like to think, they never would have approved any Google Voice apps, ever. In a letter to the FCC explaining why they had rejected such apps at the time, they claimed it was to protect users’ privacy from unknown privacy practices of third parties. Well, we all know that was total bullshit because those same unknown privacy practices are acceptable today (WTF?), and it can serve as a data point. On privacy, Apple talks through its collective arse to maintain its informational advantage. To quote Bryan, “Duh!”

mhikl

Someone needs to learn to read and interpret. Only if and when it passes, should it come back to discussions. People with even an entry to middle school can do that. Seems there’s an idiot on the lose in search of a village. Booooooring.

jfbiii

In the Android world, the consumers are the product. In the App Store world, the apps are the product.

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