Google Currents

NME says Google Currents provides an opportunity to provide 'scaled up' news for tablets

Five UK publishers that launched on Google Currents, a social reader app for iPad, iPhone and Android devices, a fortnight ago have clocked up more than 100,000 subscribers.

Currents, which appears to be Google's attempt at a Zite or Flipboard-style app, launched for US publishers in December, followed by a lanch for UK publishers on 11 April.

The Guardian, Metro, Independent, Sun and NME have all gained more then 100,000 subscribers. The Guardian has the most with 163,000.

The Evening Standard and Now Magazine, which were also launch partners, have clocked up more than 10,000 subscribers each.

NME's offering on Currents is called NME Live and focuses on live music including reviews and gig listings rather than pushing out the website's content.

Luke Lewis, editor of, told that 95 per cent of the music title's subscribers are based in the UK.

He acknowledged that many subscribers are adding NME Live out of "curiosity", and the number of active users is lower than the figure of 115,000 subscriptions so far suggests.

Readers are averaging six and a half pages per visit, and showing a low bounce rate of 22 per cent.

Although NME Live does not currently include advertising on Currents, there is an opportunity to sell ad space within the app.

The NME does not currently offer an iPad app and Lewis said Currents provides a way of providing content that "looks good"and is "scaled up for tablet".

The Guardian has two editions on Currents, one available in the US and another for the UK and rest of the world which launched a fortnight ago when Currents opened up to non-US markets.

The UK edition had around 163,000 subscribers at the time of writing, and the US edition had 76,000.

According to the Guardian's mobile editor Subhajit Banerjee, it is early days for their Currents in the UK, but "almost all of the Guardian's audience so far has been on Android".

Publishers can submit their content to Google Currents by using Google Currents Producer.

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