Google is officially extending its news reader service Google Play Newsstand to India tomorrow with 30 Indian publications, the company has announced at an event in Gurgaon, India, where it is launching the Android One handsets in India.
Among the Indian publications that will be offered include Times Internet’s Indiatimes, Zigwheels, Luxpresso, Healthmeup, MensXP, iDiva, NDTV’s NDTV Movies, NDTV Gadgets, NDTV Sports, Anandabazar Patrika’s ABP News & ABP Majha, Missmalini.com, HT Media’s Mint, Hindustan Times & Desimartini, Jagran, ESPN Cricinfo and TV9 Telugu.
Magazines include India Today, Vogue India, GQ India, Cosmopolitan India and Business Today.
Play Newsstand was introduced by Google in November last year, by combining two of its services – Google Play Magazines and its social news reader apps Google Currents. The company had then claimed that the service will offer more than 1,900 free and paid full length publications to which users can subscribe on the web, Android and iOS.
This included free & paid newspaper content from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Financial Times, news sites like ABC News, The Atlantic, CNET, Huffington Post, The Guardian and Reuters among others and magazines like Forbes, The Economist, The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, Rolling Stone and Wired among others.
Besides content, the Play Newsstand also offers features like the ability to save any article or magazine offline. It’s worth noting that while the web version of Play Newsstand has been unavailable for Indian users (and still shows unavailable at the time of writing this article), the Android app has been available for quite some time now, albeit in a limited form since Google is yet to roll out magazines to the Indian Play Store.
This launch also probably means that users will get another option to access to free and paywalled content from foreign newspapers likes The New York Times. Google is apparently offering free access to The New York Times for the next 60 days.
Google Play Newsstand – update tonight. Paywalled and free stuff. NYT free for the next 60 days. #AndroidOne
— Kim Arora (@arorakim) September 15, 2014
Digital Magazines subscriptions: Google has informed that users can also purchase magazine subscriptions through this service. Note that magazines was probably one of the key sections missing on the Indian Play Store right now, besides Music. The e-book section was added in February last year, following which the devices section was introduced in March last year and the movies section was added in the same month.
It will be interesting to see if and how this will impact third party digital magazine stores like Magzter, considering Google Play Newsstand will potentially offer larger distribution by virtue of being native to the Android operating system. (Also read: Why would Singapore Press Holdings & Kalaari Capital invest $10M In Magzter?)
Updates: Google has informed that users can purchase magazine subscriptions through the service. We’ve updated the article accordingly. Also added more partners for the service.