Apple courts publishers for iPad digital newsstand

Apple courts publishers for iPad digital newsstand
The proposed digital newsstand for the Apple iPad would provide a marketplace for periodicals, much like Apple's iBooks and iTunes storefronts. People close to the matter report that Apple is accelerating its efforts to get potential publishers on board, and may announce its periodical service in the next month or two.

Apple has a number of reasons for expanding their marketplace, the first of which is competition from impending Android tablets. By creating an exclusive hub on the iPad, Apple will be able to defend its device, as it did with the iPod. The service will obviously bring in new revenue for Apple, but should also appeal to an ailing print industry.

Despite the potential win-win for Apple and the publishers, some publishers are wary of the collaboration. One point of contention is that Apple would limit the publishers' access to information about the readers, which would be used for marketing research and advertising sales. The publishers are also concerned by the 30% fee that Apple charges for selling content. Print publishers, however, should consider how many more subscriptions they might enjoy under the umbrella of Apple's 160 million accounts.

There is no word yet on which publishers have agreed, but Apple insiders have said that at least one is already on board. The same sources indicate that the Hearst Corporation is more open to the idea than some other large publishers.

source: The Wall Street Journal

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