Report: Google Working on Android Newsstand

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.