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Google To Launch "Digital Newsstand," Will Rival Apple's Planned Subscription Service

Google To Launch "Digital Newsstand," Will Rival Apple's Planned Subscription Service

January 3, 2011
According to The The Wall Street Journal, Google is planning on launching a "digital newsstand" that will rival Apple's rumored upcoming app subscription service. We first heard about Apple's plans for "app subscriptions" back in December, when news of the Daily hit the Web. The digital magazine, created by Apple and News Corp., will feature Apple's subscription service - which is rumored to launch with iOS 4.3. However, Google (who recently launched the iBooks competitor, Google Books), is looking to challenge Apple with its own "digital newsstand." According to the WSJ:
Google is trying to drum up publishers' support for a new Google-operated digital newsstand for users of devices that run its Android software. With the effort, it is chasing Apple, which already sells digital versions of many major magazines and newspapers through its iTunes store.
Additionally, Apple is planning on sharing users' data with publishers via an opt-in app feature. As the WSJ states:
Apple is planning to share more data about who downloads a publisher’s app, information publishers can use for marketing purposes. According to people familiar with the matter, Apple would ask consumers who subscribe to an iPad version of a magazine or newspaper for permission to share personal information about them, like their name and email address, with the publisher. Some publishers remain unhappy with this arrangement because they think few customers would opt to share such data, according to these people.
Obviously, privacy is a big issue. It's good that Apple isn't going all out to hand over users' private information. If you were wondering exactly when Apple is going to introduce its subscription service, the WSJ stated that it will launch "early this year." Digital magazine and newspaper readers will undoubtedly be pleased to hear this. The first application to feature app subscriptions will be the Daily. We'll keep you posted.

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