Is This the Answer for Online News Revenue?

Publishers Unite for Digital Newsstand

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Leading publishers are getting together for what is widely being considered something of a "Hulu for magazines." Publishers involved include Conde Nast, Hearst, Meredith, News Corporation and Time Inc.

These companies released a joint announcement today saying that they have entered into an independent venture to develop open standards for a new digital storefront and related technology that will "allow consumers to enjoy their favorite media content on portable digital devices."

The idea is that publishers can boost online revenue in a similar fashion to what the companies behind Hulu are doing with online television The publishers say the goal is to create a highly featured common reading application capable of rendering the distinctive look and feel of each publication, a publishing platform optimized for multiple devices, operating systems and screen sizes, a consumer storefront with an extensive selection of publications, and a rich array of advertising opportunities.

The selection of publications will not be limited to just those from the companies involved. They are saying that the venture will welcome other publishers to offer their content as well. Publishers will get their revenue from content and advertising sales, as well as print subscriptions.

John Squires"For the consumer, this digital initiative will provide access to an extraordinary selection of engaging content products, all customized for easy download on the device of their choice, including smartphones, e-readers and laptops," explained John Squires, the venture’s interim managing director. "Once purchased, this content will be ‘unlocked’ for consumers to enjoy anywhere, anytime, on any platform."

The storefront will of course offer magazine and newspaper publications, but will also include books, comic books, blogs, and other media. The venture does not yet have a name. It will be interesting to see what they come up with and if consumers jump on board with the model.

Is this a step in the right direction for publishers? Tell us what you think.

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Is This the Answer for Online News Revenue?
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