Amazon’s subscription system is screwy
I’ve written a couple posts recently on the iPad and Kindle Editions of the National Geographic Magazine. While working on the Kindle post I wrote out a complaint about the pricing. (It seemed rather high.) But as I worked my way into the issue I began to get the impression that there is more to the story. The pricing issue complaint got long enough that it outgrew the rest of the post, so I pulled it out and posted it here.
Is it just me or is Amazon’s monthly subscription charge subtly screwing the customer?
The cost of the Kindle Edition of NGM is $1.99 a month (~$24 a year). It’s more than the paper subscription ($15) or Zinio subscription ($15). This particular price quandary started me thinking about Kindle subscriptions. Why are the subscriptions charged by the month? Processing that fee every month kinda goes against the whole idea of subscriptions.
I understand why the monthly charge is priced $1.99 (it’s a penny less than $2). But why is it charged by the month? Most magazine subscriptions charge by the year.
Amazon’s method is inefficient and it drives the cost up. If it bothers you that a Kindle subscriptions costs more than the other subscriptions for a particular title, blame Amazon. If Amazon would allow for charging a 1 year subscription (instead of the monthly fee), the cost would go down. NGM would likely offer a Kindle subscriptions for the same as Zinio ($15).
The strange part is that (in this case) Amazon will sell you a single issue of NGM for $3.99. But if you sign up for a subscription, Amazon will effectively sell you a single issue for $1.99. How does that make any sense?
I think Amazon created the monthly fee deliberately. It gives them a (constant) monthly income, and it gives them more money than if they allowed yearly subscriptions. I also think the customer is paying more this way, which I interpret as getting screwed.
What do you think? I’d like to here from you.