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Google Digital Newsstand Aims to Muscle In on Apple

Published on January 3, 2011
by Russell Adams and Jessica E. Vascellaro

Google Inc. and Apple Inc. have stepped up their battle to win over publishers, as the two companies vie to become the dominant distributor of newspapers and magazines for tablet computers and other mobile devices.

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.

The e-newsstand would include apps from media companies offering versions of their publications for smartphones or tablets running Android, say people familiar with the matter. Google hopes to launch it 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, these people say.

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