Google is trying to counter one of Apple’s advantages over its Android platform by developing a digital newsstand of sorts, the WSJ reports. The big idea would be to offer a central location for media companies to sell their digital wares for Android devices, which now include mobile phones and tablets.
Google may try to give publishers a better cut of revenue than the 30% that Apple takes for iTunes payments, and could offer more information about customers to Android publishers than Apple does, the WSJ’s Russell Adams and Jessica Vascellaro say.
This would be a wise move on Google’s part: While Android is growing rapidly in popularity, its App Market is notoriously messy, especially for paid apps. If Google wants big media companies to invest in Android the same way they have in Apple’s iOS, they ought to help with monetization and promotion.
We don’t expect any publishers to go exclusively Android-only, but if Google can eventually offer a larger market and better terms, publishers could eventually show some preference to Google over Apple.
And, if anything, this could push Apple to make more concessions to publishers, faster, including integrating existing subscriptions into the iTunes ecosystem, and accessing more data about customers, some of which Apple is already working on.
At Google, Stephanie Tilenius, VP of e-commerce, is running the initiative, according to the WSJ, which doesn’t have any details on Google’s timing, and cautions that it might never launch.
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