Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Want to buy single magazines through iTunes or Amazon

I stopped my Fortune subscription several weeks ago due to time constraints, but I'd love to buy just the issue with Steve Jobs on the cover (see Gruber and FSJ for details). Fortune's publisher Time Inc. should make buying a magazine as easy as buying a song on iTunes. Better yet, actually sell magazines through iTunes since I already have an account there. Or Amazon.

And yes I'm talking about a physical paper magazine, not a stupid PDF or whatever. Mail it to my house, bill my credit card. This would be much preferable to trying to hunt the specific issue down in stores or signing up for an unneeded subscription that clutters my house, adds a little stress to my life and hurts the environment.

Over the course of a year I may very well end up spending as much as or more than I would have on a subscription. I'm fine with that.

As I've said before, the print media business will recover only once publications start paying attention the basics, like how they are sold and distributed.


Mark McKay said...

That is a great idea!

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, Ryan, but is it really that hard to get to a newsstand? Did you move to the middle of nowhere since I last talked to you?

Ryan said...

It definitely is. Campus is 10 min each way without parking -- for a magazine? No. I used to have Cody's Fourth Street, which I still walk by frequently on my way to the Pasta Shop/Peets/Vino/Rouge, but their newsstand always sucked, especially the last few months, they do not even carry the Times. And now of course they are closing and moving.

You have DeLauers V -- you're lucky. But even they suck at certain things. And increasingly across the country newsstands are closing.

Also, I'm working very long nights lately. It's gotten to the point where I'll order basic office supplies of Amazon rather than wasting time making a trip to a store.

I think of it like New Yorkers ordering in food, even though they live closer to more restaurants than probably anyone else in the country.

Ryan said...

PS The postal system is pretty much designed for this kind of thing, so all the mags need to do is start selling their content in this manner.... Probably one of the easiest moves they can make.

AND -- probably a lot less CO2 involved in me ordering a mag to be mailed than driving to a newstand!

Christian said...

This is a business model decision on behalf of the publishers. It follows along the same model as the RIAA and the CD (remember the furor over selling single tracks vs. whole albums on itunes?). It's the same model as costco. By getting you to forcibly sign up for a years subscription they can sell 3,6, and 12 month advertising contracts much easier.

Although I don't know, kindle might try this in the future.

As for those who say stop at the newsstand: What if you want a back issue? It's like the NYT and their archives. Apply this to TIME and National Geographic.

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