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Posts tagged subscription

Amazon patents scheduled recurring deliveries
February 10, 2013 | 5:02 pm

Amazon Fresh truck Seattle deliveryA few days ago I brought up a patent Amazon got on reselling “used” digital content. It turns out that’s not the only odd patent Amazon’s gotten lately. Dan brought to my attention U.S. patent number 8,370,271, which Amazon just received on “recurring delivery of products.” Essentially, Amazon just received a patent on the ability to ship a new order of a particular good every so often to a customer without being asked. Or, as one pundit put it, Amazon has just “patented the milkman.” Amazon has already been offering this service for some time now. If you order some sort...

Where Readability went wrong
June 17, 2012 | 11:59 pm

On the blog Expletive Inserted, Greg Cox has a look at the failure of Readability's subscribers-pay-for-content plan that I mentioned Readability has decided to close down. Distilling various voices from the blogosphere who have posted their own comments about the issue, Cox boils the lessons that can be learned down to two principles. The first is that the money doesn’t matter so much as the sense of entitlement. Readability is far from the only reformatter to charge its users, after all. The problem wasn’t so much that as it was that Readability was claiming to represent authors and publishers...

Readability ends publisher payment subscription plan
June 13, 2012 | 7:39 pm

The experiment is over. On article-reformatting utility Readability’s blog, CEO Rich Zlade announced that Readability is ending its 15-month-old reader fees for publisher payment program, in which it collected donations from subscribers to pay out to publishers of sites that Readability users reformatted to skip ads.  Why end the program? Zlade explains that, although “thousands of [readers] agreed to spend $5 a month (and sometimes more)” on the project, relatively few publishers signed up. Out of the “millions—yes, millions—of domains” whose content was reformatted, only about 2,000 bothered to sign up to claim their share of the...

Court rules Wall Street Journal can change terms of digital subscription
March 24, 2012 | 7:30 pm

wall_street_jouA district court has thrown out a class action suit against Dow Jones (owner of the Wall Street Journal) for changing the subscription terms for its on-line Wall Street Journal service, PaidContent reports. Originally, one single WSJ online subscription price covered access to digital versions of both the Wall Street Journal and Barron’s Online. However, Dow Jones decided to spin Barron’s off into a separate digital publication with a separate pro-rated fee of up to $20 for continued access to it. The court ruled based on a term in the WSJ user agreement that allowed Dow to amend the...

Readability drops fee requirements for premium features
January 11, 2012 | 12:21 pm

Remember when Readability went freemium, adding a subscription fee from which it could pay magazines whose content got ad-stripped? (This caused it to run afoul of Apple’s in-app payments policy, though it resubmitted and got that straightened out.) It turned out that Readability’s ambitions did not match up to readers’ expectations, with only a few thousand people willing to kick in $5 per month for the service, so in November the company slid back toward free by adding some premium features back to free accounts. Now it turns out apparently even that was not worthwhile, and the...

Google to offer ChromeOS notebooks on subscription plan
April 20, 2011 | 11:28 pm

cr48Neowin reports that “a reliable source” has indicated that Google ChromeOS notebooks will be available for purchase around the end of June or the start of July, and that in addition to standard sales, Google will offer them on a monthly subscription basis. For $10-$20 per month, Google will replace faulty hardware for the life of the subscription, and will provide hardware refreshes as they become available. This essentially treats notebooks like a cable modem—a device leased from the cable company as part of your monthly fee in return for replacing it if anything goes wrong. I wonder...

24symbols promises Netflix-like subscription library access
April 10, 2011 | 1:35 pm

24symbolsOn Booksprung, Chris Walters reports that a Spanish company named Bestsharer is testing 24symbols, a service akin to Spotify or Netflix for e-books, with an eye toward a June launch. It will essentially be a subscription-based service by which for a monthly fee readers will get access to a cloud-hosted e-book library that they can read as long as they’re paid up. (Also like Spotify, it won’t be available in the US on launch.) The article also suggests that the service will involve ad-sponsored e-books, and will also be DRM-free. (Not sure how that’s going to work if the...

INMA issues statement about tablet subscriptions – highly critical of Apple
February 18, 2011 | 8:54 am

INMA AppleGoogle 250The INMA, an international organization, completed its tablet roundtable on subscriptions in London and issues a statement highly critical of Apple. Here is the full release: INMA today hosted an invitation-only Roundtable on Tablet Subscriptions at the Park Inn Hotel at London’s Heathrow Airport, featuring nearly 60 representatives of the European media industry. The meeting featured a robust and sometimes intense discussion of new app subscription plans by Apple and Google, the best ways to meet with such intermediaries, potential alternative subscription models, and the possibilities of HTML5. Meeting organisers described the mood of the audience as “optimistic yet realistic” and...

Apple announces subscription model in Apps Store
February 15, 2011 | 10:41 am

141909 appstoreicon originalMacWorld is reporting this. More info in the article. Subscriptions for iOS apps will work much the same way as we’ve already seen with The Daily. Publishers can charge subscriptions on a weekly, monthly, bi-monthly, quarterly, semiannually, or yearly basis, and customers can sign up via in-app purchases that get automatically billed and renewed on their iTunes accounts. With this method, Apple takes 30 percent of subscription fees. Publishers are also free to make their subscriptions available outside of their apps, say, via their own Websites and to existing subscribers of a print edition....

Time Inc. and Sports Illustrated roll out “all access” digital subscriptions for Android
February 11, 2011 | 12:22 pm

AndroidFrom the press release: Time Inc. and Sports Illustrated announced the introduction of new "All Access" digital subscription plans that will deliver the iconic print magazine to consumers at all touch points (or on all platforms) beginning today with Android tablets and smartphones as well as on the web at This is the first of Time Inc.'s emerging digital subscription programs, designed to offer consumers a flexible approach to accessing its branded titles. Earlier this week, Time Inc. announced plans to make TIME, Fortune, People and Sports Illustrated available for subscription on the HP TouchPad when it is introduced...

On making digital subscriptions work, by Adam Hodgkin
February 11, 2011 | 9:22 am

Images All Things Digital has an interesting essay by John Squires: "Apple, Google and the Publishers: Here’s How to Make Subscriptions Work". Squires used to be a senior executive at Time Inc and is founder of Next Issue Media a company that is stealthily developing a new approach to marketing and selling digital magazines on tablet platforms. Squires echoes cries of anguish that have been coming from his peers in the consumer magazine industry: In recent weeks, we’ve heard growing concern from magazine and newspaper publishers regarding the challenge of providing content for mobile media while preserving their print franchises. The concern is nothing new,...

European publishers confused by Apple’s “new” payment rules for subscriptions
February 2, 2011 | 9:43 am

Images MocoNews has a long article on this today. It's worth reading the whole thing: Grzegorz Piechota, the European president of the International Newsmedia Marketing Association—which represents some 5,000 members in 80 countries worldwide—told us that the INMA will be meeting with the European Online Publishers Association and the magazine association FIPP in a invitation-only roundtable on February 17 in London, to compare notes on Apple’s new subscription charging rules, and talk about what to do next. ... From the point of view of the INMA, so far the takeaway is not very good: “Some say they feel betrayed.” Piechota notes that...

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