A group of magazine publishers plans to launch a service that will let users read digital magazines on Google Android tablets early next year. At launch Next Issue Media tells All Things D that the software will only support Android and not Apple’s iPad, although it will likely be available for iOS eventually.
While All Things D describes Next Issue Media’s platform as “Hulu for Magazines,” there seems to be a big difference. Hulu offers a free, ad-supported service, while Next Issue’s platform will allow users to pay for subscriptions to magazines. So really it sounds more like iTunes for magazines to me.
What’s interesting about the choice of Android is that while there are a growing number of tablet devices running Android, Google still doesn’t officially support the tablet form factor. That will likely change by the time Next Issue is ready to release its software next year, but it seems a bit odd to focus on Android when there are already millions of iPad users already.
Of course, it’s likely that Apple might want to offer magazines through its iBooks or iTunes platform, while Google likely gives Next Issue more freedom.
Next Issue Media is a partnership between Conde Nast, Time, Hearst, New Corp, and Meredith, some of the biggest names in magazine publishing.