Skip to main content

Amazon lowers barriers to entry for digital content subscription providers

best amazon deals 5 3 2017 subscribe wtih man at desk with computer
Amazon just added another business to its already-stuffed portfolio. Subscribe with Amazon opens a self-service subscription marketplace for digital subscription providers and customers.

Subscribe with Amazon’s initial rollout is limited to business with digital content, a business address in the United States, and a subscription business model in which your customers pay a recurring fee to receive or access your product or service.

Amazon implies that physical subscription products may be supported sometime in the future, but not now. So if you sell watches, stained glass window ornaments, hot sauce, tools, or other physical items by monthly or other periodic subscriptions, you can’t jump in yet. Selling music and video content can also be problematic, and may require additional documentation and applications.

On the other hand, if you have a weekly newsletter, daily tips and strategies posts, or a monthly special report with paying subscribers or if you’d like to start one of those businesses, Subscribe with Amazon could be the way to market and sell your product.

The self-service aspect of the program gives subscription providers access to tools to create online detail pages, manage prices, and use Amazon’s APIs to receive orders and updates from Amazon.

You’ll also have the chance to set up special deals, offer different subscription levels, or propose discounts for Amazon Prime members. For example, Texture, a current Amazon subscription provider, gives a 50 percent discount for six months to Prime members.

Providers can use automated marketing widgets for the recommended and similar products features that show up on Amazon product pages. In addition, you will be eligible for inclusion in a Subscribe with Amazon storefront where customers can explore newly available subscriptions.

Amazon charges for the privilege of selling via Subscribe with Amazon. During a customer’s first subscription year Amazon’s cut is 30 percent for each transaction. Following the first year, any transactions with the same customer are charged 15 percent. So you keep 70 percent the first year and 85 percent for subsequent years with the same customer.

If you already have a digital business or side hustle, or if you are inspired by the possibilities of the subscription marketplace, check out the brief subscriber application.

It appears that you can’t just apply and then create a digital product or service later. The application requires the product name, URL, category, and the number of active subscribers.

It may be that Subscribe with Amazon provider applications will only be approved for existing subscription business, but that point isn’t entirely clear. Digital Trends reached out for more information on the types of businesses that can use Subscribe with Amazon, and we’ll update this post when we get more information.

Setting up and managing subscriptions or memberships can be complicated on your own website. Making online subscriptions easier and integrating them with Amazon is similar to Kindle ebook publishing, in that it removes barriers to entry for that type of business. We’d love to hear about your success using this new marketplace or your thoughts about it.

Editors' Recommendations