Condé Nast is prepping digital editions of The New Yorker and Wired magazines for Google’s Android 3.0 (aka Honeycomb) system this spring. While both titles have been available on Apple’s iPad for several months, publishers such as Time Inc. (NYSE: TWX) are hopeful that Google’s greater flexibility on managing digital and print subscription packages will ultimately tilt the balance of power back in their favor.
Last week, Time Inc. unveiled its new “All Access” digital subscription plan for Sports Illustrated: one monthly or annual price for print delivery and complete use on their PC and-and for now-Google (NSDQ: GOOG) Android-powered mobile devices. A few days before that, the company said that SI, Time magazine, Fortune and People will be available on the new HP (NYSE: HPQ) TouchPad when it comes out later in the year.
Condé Nast wouldn’t discuss its subscription packages for the Android system, but it surely has that goal in mind. It also wouldn’t mention what it plans to charge for individual issues, though a New Yorker iPad issue download costs $4.99, while Wired is $3.99.
Last fall, Next Issue Media, the joint venture involving Time Inc. and Condé Nast, as well as Hearst Corp. and Meredith Corp. (NYSE: MDP), said that it will set up its digital storefront for magazine subscriptions and individual sales on the Android’s platform this spring. The game plan is premised on the notion that once things take off as planned on Android, Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) will be more willing to make concessions to the publishers. But that’s more a question of “if” rather than “when,” at this point.
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