Saturday, January 17, 2015

Monthly subscription model in journals and books

Recently, several publishers have begun to launch the service of the regular subscription.

Of course, there have been many magazines to offer regular delivery service. However, the business models seem to be changing.

"Next Issue" is an innovative service launched in the US last year. If you register with cost of 9.99 USD in a month, you can read over one hundred of magazines as much as you wish. Forbes, Fortune, Mac World, and so many titles are included to be offered. Premium service subscribers can also access Time, Newsweek, New Yorker, and so on with 14.99 US$ monthly.

Unfortunately, it is available only in the US and Canada now. A credit card issued in the US is necessary. I expect the service will be extended to outside the US soon.

Next Issue

Inkle offers you daily subscription and curation of newspaper service. Several articles are delivered to your e-mail address every day. You can read the top news of The Guardian, Washington Post, and some popular newspaper with 10 US$ monthly.

I tasted it using a month free trial. It was a splendid experience. However, considering the current situation that many news articles are readable for free on the internet, it costs a bit expensive.


Unlimited subscription services are not limited to magazine and newspaper. Some companies started book reading services. In the past, I mentioned to Kindle Unlimited with a critical point of view.

My past entry: Immature Kindle Unlimited

Oyster and Scribd are similar to Kindle Unlimited. Both offer thousands of the books with a monthly subscription. I have registered Scribd and now am enjoying it. It offers me many Audiobooks as well. Oyster is still available only in the US, unfortunately.

My past entry: Look back to 2014 (2)

Marvel also offers unlimited subscription service. It seems to have an impact on lovers of American comics. It looks a fun club rather than the subscription service by a publisher.

My past entry: Marvel Unlimited, a great online comics service

So, there are many collective subscription services. Also in Japan, some publishers began similar services. The situation means, ironically, the reduced sales of books and magazines. Publishers feel the limitation of current business models. Few people are willing to buy a paper magazine in a store. Instead, there are some people who love to read books and magazines. Publishers are eager to enclose them using regular subscription.

On the other hand, these new business models are strict for writers. In some services, publishers pay the reward to the writers with calculation of the members who downloaded each book or magazine. It means that the writers can get money only when their works are consumed. Other books and magazines in the service group will be competitors for writers.

I am not sure these services will survive the era. I am thankful to get many opportunities to get a touch with many articles with low cost. But it is difficult to predict the future of the culture of publishing.

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