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Google to enter into digital news subscriptions?

While we await for Ruport Murdoch’s The Daily to launch (rumored/reported for January 17), Google is making noise that it isn’t going to let Apple own the digital subscription plans for newspapers and magazines apps. News organizations such as the New York Times, Wall Street Journal currently have free iPad apps but are free for a limited time – while they wait for Apple to roll out the subscription service.

Google is readying a newsstand for Android devices even as Apple is racing to make important concessions on its iTunes news subscription plans, multiple sources said Sunday night. The search engine is reportedly hoping to race Apple to a central periodical platform and would aggregate phone- and tablet-optimized magazine or newspaper apps in a central place. The company would try to lure publishers away from Apple by undercutting its own usual 30 percent cut, the WSJ heard, and by agreeing to give private subscriber information that Apple has so far refused.
It would provide a “more consistent experience” for users, the insiders said, and would help publishers get paid.

Google is reportedly in talks with major publishers such as Conde Nast, Hearst and Time. Hearst is the parent company of King Features Syndicate.

Community Comments

#1 Jeff Stanson
January/8/2011
@ 8:28 am

Google’s model for news has always been free. Put a subscription price behind Google News or Google News Archive (a favorite for comics research), and Google’s whole approach to news will crash and burn…

#2 Ted Rall
January/8/2011
@ 8:48 am

Good content cannot, and should not, be free. In a few years we’ll look back at those who touted the “free” model for content with the same scorn we have for those who swore they were sure that Saddam had WMDs.

Bad content, on the other hand…

#3 john stanson
January/8/2011
@ 12:19 pm

this is how it has to be. let’s all get out of this dream world where everything is free. if you want something, you have to pay for it. newspapers need to stop trying to make free news work, step up and have some balls. take down the sites, and put up a single homepage that has nothing more than a button for subscription on it. and if you disagree with that, put yourself in the shoes of all the journalists who were laid off because their newspaper put up a free website with everything that the paid-for print edition had. seriously, how did they not see that coming?

also, we all need to calm down as a nation with digital purchasing. going to the store to buy a cd, a dvd, a book, or a paper employs a ton of people. artists and writers create the content, studios and publications produce them, factories make them, drivers ship them, and store clerks sell them. all that gets erased with the internet.

#4 Jeff Stanson
January/8/2011
@ 9:47 pm

“”Good content cannot, and should not, be free.””

Too late. You can’t put the toothpaste back into the tube, nor the genie back into the bottle. Almost every outlet that’s tried to charge for content after giving it away has had to go back to free. Plus there’s always a competitor who’ll give it away for free if you don’t. I know it firsthand; it caused me to have to turn to a different career. And yes, there were WMDs.

“”going to the store to buy a cd, a dvd, a book, or a paper employs a ton of people… all that gets erased with the internet.””

Yes, that’s true, but again, too late. It’s already happened. One of the problems with the American economy is that we’re still trying to get by with reselling and redoing the things people wanted in the past. Only one company, Apple, is actually innovating anymore, when all companies should be innovating. But Research & Development at so many companies, if it hasn’t been cut from the budget, is really just Copy & Redevelopment. Why? Because the moguls are more interested in making profit by buying and selling companies rather than developing and producing products.

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