January 28, 2015 Last Updated 1:18 pm

Google swings deal with Rolling Stone to bring its archives to their Google Play Newsstand

New Google Play Newsstand content will launch, part of a ‘seven-figure’ deal with the music magazine that first appeared in 1967, has chronicled the music scene ever since

The Google Play Newsstand will new, old content on Friday, offering the archives of Rolling Stone magazine. The deal involves Google paying the magazine a “seven figure” sum in advertising, according to <strong>Fast Company.

1967-RSissue1The move is interesting, for while Apple has let its Newsstand go to seed, none of the major competitors have stepped in to see the giant opening. It is possible that Google sees the weakness Apple has created and is become more aggressive.

“Our goal is to help publishers succeed in a changing world,” Brian Irving, global head of marketing for Google Play told Fast Company. “We’re constantly looking for ways to partner with people who are content creators and help bring something to life.”

Irving also put in a dig at Apple’s Newsstand, saying the Google Play Newsstand is better at content discovery due to customizable themes and key word searches – a claim that is dubious at best, though there is no doubt discovery is a serious issue in the Apple Newsstand (among others).

RS-GPNWhat Google needs to do next is get serious about the quality of the digital publications on its newsstand, which for the most part are just replica editions. The new app, too, looks designed for Android smartphones, more than tablets, and has the look of a news app. To drive readership to the Android platform will take more than additional content, it will take the same kinds of innovative thinking that drove Google to create its platform to begin with.

Meanwhile, the RS archives will also be available starting on Friday as part of Rolling Stone’s online Cover Wall.

Also, a few reports mention an “app” for iOS, while at the same mentioning the Google Play Newsstand. This may be a mistake on the reporters part as there is already a Google Play Newsstand app inside the Apple App Store. Is this a separate Android app for Google Play (no, I don’t think so), or is it part of the newsstand (yes, one assumes), in which case it would be available on both platforms.

Note: for two good examples of publications monetizing archives, see the interviews with The Nation and The Boston Globe in Talking Digital. See, even TNM is monetizing its archives.

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