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It looks like Next Issue Media, the newspaper and magazine publishing JV, is finally ready to open its digital newsstand for business. The c…

Next Issue Media on E-Readers, iPad, iPhone

It looks like Next Issue Media, the newspaper and magazine publishing JV, is finally ready to open its digital newsstand for business. The company says it has hired Vindicia to set up its CashBox billing service so it can start selling digital magazine and newspapers early next year. Next Issue will offer digital subscriptions and single copy sales. Print subscribers will also have the option of combining their existing magazine and newspaper subscriptions with digital bundles, something publishers have been demanding from Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) and its iPad for months.

Earlier this month, Next Issue said it would launch its online store for magazines and newspapers on Google’s Android Marketplace. Google (NSDQ: GOOG), looking to one-up Apple, has been much more amenable to publishers’ pleas for greater flexibility.

Next Issue and its publisher backers — Condé Nast, Hearst, Meredith (NYSE: MDP), News Corporation (NSDQ: NWS) and Time Inc. (NYSE: TWX) — have been hoping that tablets powered by Android, such as Samsung’s Galaxy, would compel Apple to give them more free rein when selling single copies or subscriptions either separately or part of a print bundle. Apple has not shown any signs thus far of giving publishers the user data they crave, but it is expected to give in certain areas when it comes to allowing subscriptions to be sold — though it’s not clear to publishers when that will be.

By David Kaplan

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  1. That’s sound well and good but as an indie publisher who has an iPad magazine awaiting approval and wanted to launch an Android version of the magazine… there’s two problems.

    1. The Android Marketplace is not available on most tablets with the exception of the Samsung Galaxy Tab.

    2. The 7″ screens that Android Tablets seem focused on is not suitable to for a publication along the lines of a Wired.

    These two things are major setbacks for publishers wanting to bring magazines to the Android platform.

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  2. I am curious about how the Economist is getting around this, they seem to be selling single issues and letting me combine my print and digital subscription.

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  3. David -

    Many publications (The WSJ to name one) are using their own e-commerce systems to provide access to content and to provide print-tablet hybrid subscriptions. Is some cases Apple does not get any share of the revenues.

    We wrote about it @Poynter recently: http://journ.us/b4W1EC

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  4. You’ve done a great job charting all the twists and turns in this, Damon. What I was talking about were the issues that have kept most publishers abilities to sell subscriptions and get publishers to share more of the information about who the subscribers are. For example, Time Inc.’s People, as well as the WSJ can sell subscriptions, but publishers aren’t exactly thrilled with the terms.

    As for the Android tablet, it is too early for it to exact pressure on Apple to loosen its control, but it just might once more devices become available. Still, it’s hard to imagine that Apple will lose so much ground because of magazine subscriptions to think that publishers will be able to get everything they want.

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