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Sunday, August 24, 2008

The magazine subscription that lets you mix and match

Mark Potts blogs on Recovering Journalist about a new model being adopted by magazines that's worth taking a look at.
The first one is Portfolio's takeout on Maghound, Time Warner's plan to turn magazine subscriptions into an a la carte business: basically, you'll be able to decide which issues of which magazines you take on a subscription, switching back and forth between Time, People, Sports Illustrated and 100-plus other magazines. The idea is that you'll pay a set fee of a few bucks a month and then choose what mags you want delivered to you.

I'm not sure magazine subscribers are truly that eclectic and fickle. Do you really want to have to manage your magazine choices every month? The whole point of a subscription, after all, is a sort of set-it-and-forget-it model. Still, it's an interesting approach that might find a nice niche market.
I'm not sure I agree with Mark. I love the idea. I am exactly that fickle and ecclectic.

Whenever I subscribe to a magazine it ends up piling up in the corner unread and reproachful - either because I'm too busy to read it or bored with it.

To be able to mix up my subscriptions - say, let me take every second issue of the Economist, every third Harper's Bazaar and every second New Yorker - would be perfect.

That said, it would only be perfect if it was super easy to manage... if I could manage it myself online and with no daft penalties for changing my mind from month to month.

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