Google is considering launching a digital newsstand that would cater to users of smartphones and tablets that run Android, setting the stage for a competition with Apple for publishers’ support. Apple’s iTunes already sells a number of popular periodicals; Google has reportedly held talks with Time Inc., Condé Nast, and other publishers about its plans for the e-newsstand, which would house apps from media companies who offer Android-friendly versions of their publications, the Wall Street Journal reports. Google has promised to take a smaller cut from publishers than the 30% slice Apple takes, say insiders.
Still, Google hasn’t given any specifics on the matter, which may not ultimately pan out, the insiders note. Apple, for its part, is working to attract publishers to iTunes by allowing them to sell subscriptions through the service. Apple also hopes to release more data about consumers who download publication apps, aiding publishers in marketing. Still, the degree of control Apple wants to maintain over sales may not appeal to some publishers.
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