The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Google is looking to sell more than just books. Apparently, they also want to sell newspapers and magazines, probably as a way to offer more content to the slew of Android tablets coming out this year!
According to the WSJ:
Google has discussed its intentions with a range of publishers, including Time Warner Inc.’s Time Inc. unit, Condé Nast and Hearst Corp., according to people familiar with the matter. The three publishers declined to comment on any talks.
In recent weeks, these people say, Google has told publishers it would take a smaller slice on any sales they make of Android apps than the 30% cut Apple typically takes on iTunes sales. Google has also proposed giving publishers certain personal data about app buyers to help with marketing related products or services.
Inside Google, the e-newsstand initiative is being spearheaded by Stephanie Tilenius, its vice president of e-commerce, according to two people familiar with the matter.
“We’ve consistently said we’re talking with publishers about ways we can work together, including whether we can help them with technology for subscription services. We have nothing specific to announce at this time,” Google said in a statement.
Granted, this could just be another of Google’s pipe dreams. Or it could be a yawner like Google Books. But with Zinio MIA on the Android front, there’s a big hole that could be filled by individual publishers. Plus the iPad has reportedly been something of a disappointment with respect to periodicals; after the initial “oooh, I can read Wired on my iPad” uptick sales have been less than impressive. It’s been a very hard road for periodicals and newspapers looking to go the e-route, so finding a new digital partner isn’t a bad thing.
On the other hand, by the time Google manages to line up contracts for magazines on Android, they’ll be competing with newer and better versions of the Kindle, NOOK, and Kobo Reader app. All three offer periodicals already, and while they’re limited now it’s reasonable to assume there will be major improvements as the apps and Android evolve.
How do you feel about Google selling magazines and newspapers? Are you excited, or will you still be rocking back and forth holding out for Zinio or another competitor?
Via the Wall Street Journal