Amazon has announced plans to discontinue its Kindle for Periodicals and Kindle Newsstand services, effectively ending digital editions of magazines and newspapers on the platform by September 2023. The company has reached out to publishers, encouraging them to submit their newspapers and magazines to Prime Reading or Kindle Unlimited. However, it remains uncertain if this will be a viable alternative for publishers.
Customers who currently subscribe to Kindle editions of magazines received an email from Amazon stating, “Thank you for being a valued Amazon Kindle Newsstand subscriber. We are writing to inform you that we have decided to stop selling Kindle magazines and newspaper subscriptions on Amazon.” The email also lists all active subscriptions to confirm its legitimacy.
In a separate email to publishers, Amazon explained that after evaluating their magazine and newspaper subscription offerings via Newsstand, they have decided to discontinue the individual subscription programs for both print and Kindle, including Kindle single issues. The company plans to wind down the program in a phased manner, working with publishers throughout the process to ensure the best experience for their mutual customers.
One of the key advantages of magazines and newspapers on the Kindle platform was their optimization for Kindle devices. They were designed to read like ebooks, with adjustable text size and font types, as well as black-and-white images to separate the text. This made for a more reader-friendly experience on the Kindle e-readers.
The discontinuation of the Amazon Newsstand service will impact genre magazines such as Clarkesworld, Uncanny Valley, Asimov’s, and Fantasy & Science Fiction. These publications have many subscribers on Kindle, and for many international subscribers, it is the only viable option. Kindle Unlimited is not available worldwide and is limited to select countries.
As a result of the discontinuation, some magazines and newspapers may choose not to include their content in Amazon’s Unlimited program. Users will be required to subscribe to each digital magazine separately, using web browsers or installing apps on their smartphones or tablets, rather than reading on the eye-friendly Kindle e-reader. Major news publications like The New York Times, The Economist, and Wired do not have Send to Kindle functionality, which means users will need to manually register accounts for each publication and provide their credit card information. The Kindle Newsstand provided a convenient way to keep all subscriptions in one place.
Although there are other unlimited programs available for magazines and newspapers, such as Press Reader, Zinio, Scribd, and Magster, they are not designed for reading on Kindle or other e-readers. The discontinuation of Amazon’s Newsstand service will leave a void for Kindle users who relied on the platform for their newspaper and magazine subscriptions.