Publisher-backed venture starts digital newsstand

Reuters News
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Posted: Apr 04, 2012 10:39 AM
Publisher-backed venture starts digital newsstand

(Reuters) - A venture founded by five leading U.S. publishers launched a digital newsstand for tablet devices featuring 32 magazines including Elle, Sports Illustrated and The New Yorker.

As part of the launch -- available first for Android devices running on the Honeycomb operating system and eventually for others tablets, including Apple's iPad -- Next Issue Media is offering a subscription plan for the magazines currently available.

Next Issue will eventually have up to 75 titles from its founders and intends to open up the newsstand to other publishers outside the venture.

Next Issue Chief Executive Morgan Guenther compares the newsstand to Netflix for magazines.

"We think it's a pretty compelling proposition for readers," said Guenther.

The monthly price ranges from $9.99 for access to monthly and bi-monthly magazines to $14.99 for total access, which includes weeklies.

Next Issue Media was founded by Conde Nast, Hearst, Meredith, News Corp and Time Inc as a way to address the rise in popularity of mobile smartphones and tablet computers as reading devices and to boost digital subscriptions to magazines.

Readers have to download the newsstand app after choosing a plan through the Next Issue website. In addition to the all-you-can-read offers, users can buy individual issues or get free downloads of certain titles, provided they receive the print edition.

(Reporting By Jennifer Saba; editing by John Wallace)