In an attempt to make good with newspapers and magazines, Amazon is slashing its slice of subscription prices in half, to 30 percent. According to The Register, the new split will give content producers 70 percent of the income from their subscriptions on Kindle devices and app run by Amazon. If 70-30 looks familiar, it should. The split has become quite popular, almost standard, since Apple introduced it on its iTunes App Store a few years back. Microsoft and Google have also mimicked Apple’s pricing model when they opened competing app stores.
Magazines and newspapers are desperately hoping that Kindle-like digital distribution will revive declining print subscriptions. Signs are hopeful, but the market is still in its infancy.
Publishers won’t quite get 70 percent though. Before the split is made, Amazon must deduct delivery prices, which are calculated by the megabyte. Anyone who purchases a book on a Kindle with Whispernet will cost publishers a bit of change. (Whispernet is Amazon’s free 3G cellular service that lets Kindle users download content without a Wi-Fi connection.) The company estimates that a 9 MB magazine will cost about $1.35 to deliver over its 3G service. Publishers are not charged if a book is downloaded to a Kindle app on a smartphone as users pay for bandwidth on phones. Not ideal, but magazines and newspapers should be happy for any purchase, delivery charge or not.
Amazon’s Kindle app is available for iOS and Android devices.