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Facebook to Sell Magazine Subscriptions

Posted on Sunday, August 27, 2017 at 11:56 PM

In the news: Facebook users will soon have the option of purchasing subscriptions through the site.

Last week, Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook would soon be testing a subscription service for media brands as part of its Instant Articles service. Articles and other content published by participating partners would offer Facebook users the option to purchase subscriptions directly through Facebook. Zuckerberg stated in his announcement on Facebook that several US and European publishers will pilot the new service and that participating publishers will keep all of the revenue.

Some publishers and pundits are a little wary of the prospect. Writes Greg Dool of Foliomag.com, "Publishers have reason to be skeptical of Facebook's promise to let them keep revenue ostensibly generated by the platform's own users. Apple, for example, includes an optional 'Subscribe Now' button that can be integrated into stories read on its Apple News interface ... but like any transaction in the App Store, Apple takes a 30 percent cut of the revenue." Read his full article here and Zuckerberg's announcement here.

Also Notable

Google Also Testing Subscription Services

Facebook isn't the only Web giant experimenting with magazine subscription services. Elsewhere, Google is testing its own options. Mark Bergen of Bloomberg.com sums up the new tools in development in an August 18 article: "The first is a revamp of its feature, called 'first click free,' that allows readers to access articles from subscription publications through search. Google is also exploring publishers' tools around online payments and targeting potential subscribers. It's all part of Google's broader effort to keep consumers and content-makers returning to the web, the lifeblood of its ads business." Read more here.

Shifting Magazine Ad Approaches

On August 23, Leonie Roderick of MarketingWeek.com (based in the UK) discussed how magazine publishers are adapting their advertising approaches to combat sales declines. In many cases, editorial partnerships have become key components of their overall strategy. A particularly notable recent example, writes Roderick, was the partnership that sprang up last year between Shop Direct and several prominent women's magazine brands. Other brands are experimenting with mixed print and digital campaigns. Read the full article here.

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