Conde Nast launches new subscriber service with Amazon

Tue Aug 20, 2013 7:51pm EDT
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By Jennifer Saba

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Magazine publisher Conde Nast announced a major partnership with Inc on Tuesday in which the Internet retailer will handle print and digital subscriptions for glossy publications such as Vogue, Wired and Vanity Fair.

Conde Nast is the first magazine publisher to collaborate with Amazon on this type of service, a move that will simplify and eventually save money on its subscription process and give it access to a huge new customer base. Currently, subscriptions involve direct mail and stacks of magazine insert cards.

Amazon will allow consumers to purchase, manage and renew their subscriptions for seven of its top titles under a new "all access" plan that gives them both print and digital editions of select magazines using their Amazon accounts.

For the time being, readers can still subscribe using the old paper-based method, but the idea is that Amazon will eventually handle all Conde Nast's magazine subscriptions if the arrangement is successful.

For Amazon, it marks a new step into handling content, following forays into film and lending books. It gives the online retailer a chance to offer subscriptions to its more than 200 million customers and cross-sell goods to Conde Nast subscribers with the easy 'one-click' purchasing system.

"It's part of the Amazon initiative to improve its overall content portfolio," said R.J. Hottovy, an analyst at Morningstar. "It's a matter of getting more people to Amazon. It entices them to make more purchases elsewhere on Amazon, which should have some revenue and margin improvement opportunities."

But it is just one piece of Amazon's ever-growing business, and likely not the lynchpin of any grand new strategy.

"It's a pretty small agreement in the grand scheme of things for Amazon," said Aaron Kessler at Raymond James. "But it's definitely a positive if Amazon can become the backbone for more digital subscriptions."   Continued...

A zoomed image of a computer screen showing the Amazon logo is seen in Vienna November 26, 2012. REUTERS/Heinz-Peter Bader