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Text Message Subscriptions

Posted on Sunday, August 31, 2014 at 12:15 AM

In the news: A San Francisco startup is partnering with IPC Media to offer a text message subscription service.

San Francisco startup Boku is teaming up with UK magazine publisher IPC Media to create a text message based subscription service. According to Michael Sebastian of AdAge.com, "Print ads would direct would-be subscribers to text a code to a number. They receive a confirmation text in response, directing them to a registration page on a mobile website. The subscription is then charged to the person's phone bill, or deducted from a prepaid balance."

Will this measure help drive new subscriptions while controlling the cost of getting new subscribers? Read more here.

Also Notable

Cutting Prices, Increasing Readership?

Digital magazine subscriptions are more competitive than ever, with new titles launching constantly. Some publishers are experimenting with their subscription pricing to remain competitive on the Apple Newsstand. The Hockey News has cut its digital single-issue price by a dollar (from $3.99 to $2.99) and its annual digital subscription price by $10 (from $39.99 to $29.99). Other magazines are experimenting with free issues to lure new readers downloading the magazine app for the first time. Read more here.

Tablet Magazine Challenges

"'The Tablet Magazine Has Been Flawed from the Start,'" reads a Digiday.com headline by Ricardo Bilton from last week. So what has gone wrong with a magazine platform that once seemed so promising? According to Bilton, tablet sales are plateauing thanks to pricing and technology challenges. "Content is a part of the puzzle; the other part is utility, and I don't see the publishing industry driving innovation there right now," he writes. Read his analysis of the current state of tablet publishing here.

Magazine Circulation in the First Half of 2014

Earlier this month, the Alliance for Audited Media released circulation numbers for the first half of the year. Total circulation dropped nearly 2%, but perhaps more noteworthy was a nearly 12% drop in newsstand sales. Faring particularly badly were celebrity weeklies and women's interest magazines. Read more here.

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