Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Barnes & to Sell Magazine Subscriptions have announced they will be selling magazine subscriptions to over 1,000 magazine titles in both digital and print formats. Prices will offer up 90% discount off newsstand cover prices and digital subscriptions will be almost instantly available on desktops and laptops. A further 12,000 back issues of hundreds of magazine titles will be available digitally for purchase.

This is a natural extension of’s partnership with Zinio who have long offered online subscriptions and browsing to the magazine market and power B&N’s “See Inside” widget feature, which provides previews of book content. The “See Inside” feature will now be extended to preview certain magazines. The offer also includes a partnership with M2 Media Group, and provides the first fully integrated offer of magazines and books.

Previews of content are becoming increasingly important and we have already seen a number of variants in the market. It is clear that they need to be able to render all types of content and not be fixed to a book format and text. Features that promote illustrated and picture books are just as important as text and being able to embed other media and metadata within the feature is a logical extension of where many are today.

The questions are to do with who produces the material, who controls it and as to whether there will be many variants of the same book within different sites?