Amazon is courting magazine and newspaper publishers with offers of more money, easier publishing to the Kindle Store for sale, and the promise that Kindle Store periodicals will be readable on the iPad and other non-Kindle devices.
As of December 1, periodical publishers can earn 70% royalties on their sales, according to Amazon's statement yesterday. At the same time, the company unveiled a Beta version of “Kindle Publishing for Periodicals,” simplifying the publishing to Kindle process. The company had previously announced Kindle periodicals will “soon” be readable on non-Kindle devices.
Amazon's announcement, in understated language, hits major issues troubling magazine and newspaper distribution to e-readers. And with a December 1 “go” date for the 70% royalty levels, indications are that more changes are coming.
The big issues in periodicals Amazon touches on:
- 70% royalties. This sweetens the deal for both magazine and newspaper publishers. Both have been struggling to find a place in the world changed by Amazon's Kindle, which is revolutionizing book publishing, and Apple's iPad, which has its own revolution going and presents periodical content in bright, beautiful color.
- Ease of publishing periodicals. Amazon also announced a Beta version of “Kindle for Periodical Publishing,” to make it easier for newspapers and magazines to put themselves on sale in the Kindle Store.
- Broadening the Kindle Store to more publications. On its invitation page, Amazon welcomes not only the major publishers, but virtually all “newspapers, magazines, journals and newsletters...to reach the growing Kindle audience,” Amazon says on a detail page enticing publishers to use the free KPP tool.
- Readability on non-Kindle devices. One of the requirements to gain the 70% royalty level is that “customers can read the titles on all Kindle devices and applications.” That ties in with the earlier Amazon announcement that periodicals will soon be deliverable to non-Kindle devices like the
- Blogs are not included in the new terms. “These terms do not apply to blog publishers because existing terms are generally more advantageous to them,” Amazon said. On the fine print linked to the Kindle for Periodical Publications, the company qualified its exclusion of the more than 10,000 blogs currently selling in the Kindle Store by saying they are not included “at this time.” That leaves the door open for subscribers to one day read their favorite Kindle Store blogs on their iPad.
“We are constantly working at improving the Kindle magazine and newspaper experience for both customers and publishers,” said Peter Larsen, Director of Kindle Periodicals. “Building on the recent introduction of Wi-Fi-enabled Kindles and the upcoming availability of newspapers and magazines on Kindle apps, we're pleased to add an increased revenue share and a great new tool for making Kindle better and easier than every for publishers.”
The moves come at a time of uncertain transition for periodicals trying to find their way in the changed world of e-reading.
Two of the top newspapers in the world, The New York Times and, in the UK, The Times, are in transition. The New York Times recently upped its free trial subscription period from the two-week standard in the Amazon store to two months. And in the UK, executives at The Times optimistically reported “surprising” strength in sales to people reading on PCs, iPads and Kindles.
Vogue, for example, put a December issue into the Apple Store this week. But editors aren't promising a second issue until the numbers come in. And at The New Yorker, editors noted when announcing their app in the Apple iStore that they think e-delivery is a major change, and that they are not fully comfortable—yet--with the new technology and its implications.
Yesterday's announcement is another major step into the future of magazine and newspaper distribution, but in many ways its a step into the unknown.
The complete statement from Amazon:
Amazon Announces 70-Percent Revenue Share Terms Now Available for Kindle Magazine and Newspaper Publishers
Starting today, publishers can use the new Kindle Publishing for Periodicals tool to more easily add content to the Kindle Periodicals Store
SEATTLE, Nov 08, 2010 -- Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) today announced that magazine and newspaper publishers will soon be eligible to earn a larger share of revenue from each title they sell in the Kindle Store (www.amazon.com/kindlestore). For each magazine or newspaper sold, publishers will be able to earn 70 percent of the retail price, net of delivery costs. These new 70-percent royalty terms will become available on December 1, 2010.
"We are constantly working at improving the Kindle magazine and newspaper experience for both customers and publishers," said Peter Larsen, Director of Kindle Periodicals. "Building on the recent introduction of Wi-Fi-enabled Kindles and the upcoming availability of newspapers and magazines on Kindle Apps, we're pleased to add an increased revenue share and a great new tool for making Kindle better and easier than ever for publishers."
For orders delivered to Kindles using Amazon's Whispernet service, delivery costs are shared between Amazon and the publishers (see www.amazon.com/kppinfo for more information).
To qualify for the 70-percent royalty terms, newspapers and magazines must satisfy several customer experience requirements, including:
- Customers can read the title on all Kindle devices and applications.
- Customers can read the title in all geographies for which the publisher has rights.
Amazon also announced the Beta release of the Kindle Publishing for Periodicals tool, which allows publishers to more easily add their newspaper or magazine to the Kindle Store. Publishers can quickly create their account, add content and preview Kindle formatting prior to making their titles available for the fast-growing base of Kindle customers.
To learn more about the new royalty terms for publishers and Kindle Publishing for Periodicals,http://www.amazon.com/kindle visit www.amazon.com/kppinfo.
Kindle is in stock and available for immediate shipment today at .