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Google to release Newsstand app

Google to release Newsstand app

Web giant Google is set to enter the news arena with software that combines multiple sources in a single reader app.

Called Newsstand, the application is viewed by some analysts as an attempt to woo various publishers, as it could see more mobile users signing up for digital subscriptions.

Google confirmed that the platform will initially collate content from 1,900 publications.

According to The Financial Times, the company’s approach is a cross between Flipboard – software from Android that aggregates content from social networks – and the Newsstand feature of Apple devices, which holds a mobile user’s magazine subscriptions.

When a reader using the app finds content they like, they are presented with an option to register for free or paid subscription services.

Google previously tried to make a dent on the news front with a program called One Pass almost three years ago; however, not enough publishers signed up and the service was pulled around a year later. At that time, the company offered to take a 10 per cent cut, but Google has yet to comment on the takings split for paid Newsstand content. Some sources have claimed that the company asks news suppliers for a 30 per cent cut.

Whether that’s true or not, Google isn’t believed to be competing on price; its main appeal is the vast reach of its mobile operating system, Android. Now, around four fifths of all smartphone shipments use the software.

The company confirmed that its Newsstand app will feature on all new Android smartphones and will be available to download from Google Play.

Richard Bell

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