Next Issue Media, a joint venture of five major magazine publishers, is launching a long-awaited digital newsstand on Android tomorrow, May 19, 2011. Seven digital magazines packaged as downloadable Android apps will be available from day one: Esquire and Popular Mechanics from Hearst, Fitness and Parents from Meredith, The New Yorker from Condé Nast and Fortune and Time from Time Inc. Labeled an “early preview” release, the store will launch on Samsung Galaxy tablets on the Verizon network before rolling out to other Android devices later.
Publishers Hearst, Condé Nast, Meredith, News Corporation and Time Inc. first announced a collaborative digital newsstand project last December, dubbed “Hulu for magazines.” The initial idea was to sell digital magazines and newspapers and add books, comic books, blogs and other media at a later stage. Publishers described the store as an “independent venture” and said the joint venture would welcome content from other publishers. Most founding members have either begun selling iPad magazine subscriptions via Apple’s mobile bazaar or are planning to do so.
The Wall Street Journal’s MediaMemo blog reports that publishers will keep 70 percent of revenue while the remaining 30 percent will be split between carriers and device makers. Apple’s iTunes also requires participating publishers to hand over 30 percent of content sales via in-app subscriptions to Apple. What they don’t get from the iPhone maker, however, is detailed subscriber information. Nearly half of iPad users have voluntarily opted-in to share their personal information with publishers, Apple’s iTunes chief Eddy Cue remarked last week.