The internet and digital content have been challenging the newspaper industry for years and the recent explosion of interest in tablet devices and MIDs represents an opportunity for media companies to increase digital revenue. Though the question of how big name newspapers plan on profiting from digital media on mobile devices is one everyone is asking, who will help them is fast becoming just as important an issue.
Back in September, the Apple 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 via iOS apps. However, the new venture would see Apple share with publishers user data garnered from opt-in subscribers. This could then be used by the publishers to attract advertisers. In exchange for this information, Apple would get a cut of the profits.
Now, it looks as though Google is also hoping to woo publishers as the Wall Street Journal reports that Google is planning its own digital newsstand. Sources familiar with the matter told the journal that the enewsstand would include apps from media companies offering versions of their publications for smartphones or tablets running Android. Google has apparently discussed the venture with several publishers, including Time, Condé Nast, and Hearst Corp. Word on the street is that the search giant is telling publishers it will take a smaller cut of subscription revenue than Apple.
Media execs say the details and timing are still up in the air. Officially, Google has confirmed it is working with publishers but insists it has nothing to announce right now.