Google Reportedly Planning a Digital Newsstand

Although digital publishing represents the future of media, electronic publications are yet to resonate with groundbreaking success, especially with regard to subscription-based models. Still, the likelihood of such ventures taking hold among the masses is expected to increase in lockstep with the growing number of digital publications that are being made available on mobile platforms. This is precisely the scenario Google is said to be banking on with regard to its newest enterprise.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Google is aggressively seeking publishers’ support for what is being hailed as a new “Google-operated digital newsstand for users of devices that run its Android software.”

Google, of course, would not find itself alone in such a venture. Apple has already experienced moderate success with digital publications recently made available on the iPad. Still, Apple hasn’t developed such a dominant presence in the world of digital publishing that it would be impossible for the likes of Google to become the top dog in subscription-based digital content.

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.

Based upon what unnamed sources tell the Wall Street Journal, Google has already discussed its intentions with a wide range of publishers, including Time Warner Inc.’s Time Inc. unit, Condé Nast and Hearst Corp. The WSJ notes that Google hopes to launch its digital newsstand in part “to provide a more consistent experience for consumers who want to read periodicals on Android devices, and to help publishers collect payment for their apps.”

To read the exclusive report from the Wall Street Journal, click here.