French papers team up to oppose Apple's Newsstand
Much in the way that Apple has come to dominate the media shopping experience through iTunes, the company is now aiming to make purchasing of newspapers and magazines much easier through iOS 5's Newsstand. The app is billed as a digital kiosk at which you can buy individual issues and subscriptions of periodicals. A group of French newspapers and magazines is hoping to get their own way by teaming up against Apple.
Reuters reports that eight newspapers and publications, including Le Figaro, Les Echos, le Nouvel Observateur and the sports daily L'Equipe, have launched their own digital kiosk to sell issues on the iPad. The group is also negotiating with Apple as a unified front, and has stated that they refuse to sell their products on Newsstand without major concessions.
One of the issues that the group has with Newsstand is Apple's 30 percent commission and refusal to share customer information with the publishers. L'Equipe's Xavier Spender said that the publication would "make less money selling a digital edition of the newspaper" than it would with the printed version. The group has signed with Google to sell subscriptions via Android's digital kiosk, since Google charges only a 10 percent commission and allows publishers to set their own prices and capture customer data.
The group's digital kiosk is already live at Relay.com and sales of subscriptions will begin in November.
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