France to launch virtual newsstand as alternative to Google News

Six French newspapers have come together to create an online newsstand where readers will be able to buy and read their content. The initiative, which will be launched in September, was announced Thursday by France’s National Daily Press Union as an alternative to Google News, El País reported. The maneuver comes months after Google announced its intention to include advertising on its news aggregation system. French newspapers had tried to negotiate with Google to receive a percentage of the ads revenues. But, as their request was denied, they have decided to launch a paid service of their own. The content’s price will be fixed by each daily and several subscription packages to either individual articles or an entire publication will be offered. “The monetization of the web contents, which has been agreed on by the editorial groups, is the main priority,” Les Echos explained. So far, Le Monde, Libération, Le Figaro, Les Echos, Le Parisien and L’Equipe have agreed to develop and finance the virtual newsstand. Nonetheless, editors expect other newspapers and magazines to join the project. The group is also trying to obtain state subventions offered to the press by the Sarkozy administration, informed. According to Xornal de Galicia, the six dailies are currently negotiating with Orange and Microsoft Bing to build the platform, which will be accessible by personal computer, mobile phone and e-reader gadgets like the iPad.


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