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News Corp Joins Competitors for Online Newsstand

11 Dec 2009

News Corp will join Conde Nast, Hearst, Meredith and Time in creating a new company to run the digital newsstand and place its titles on sale in various digital formats on the online newsstand developed for both magazines and newspapers.


Last week Publishing Edge reported on the rush by these publishers to get into the e-reader market in the article Magazine Publishers Rush for E-Readers.


Each of these major publishers are investing and creating a new company to run the digital newsstand. An official announcement is expected next week.


Hailed as an 'iTunes for magazines,' the new company and service will have the four rival publishers as equity partners.


According to Editors Weblog the venture has come under criticism from the usual circles of internet critics, who countered the newsstand's characterization as a Hulu for magazines with 'Hulu is free,' which really gets to the heart of the matter.


News Corp's bandwagoning is part of its overall charge towards paid online content which has so far focused on its much-publicized plans to set up its own system of paywalls, subscriptions and micropayments for a its publications. But it is clear that the company wants to spread its bets across the board, investing in multiple digital publishing efforts.


The other publishers involved made clear that this collective effort would not interfere or substitute for individual projects for online marketing and digital sales. Time revealed its approach to color e-Reader magazines last week, while Hearst last Thursday launched Skiff, a "complete" digital content solution that can handle it all but will specialize in magazines and newspapers via a platform that can be used across devices and its own dedicated devices to be sold at retail.



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