Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Amazon discontinues its recently launched Canadian online newsstand

[This post has been updated] Amazon has discontinued its Canadian online newsstand only weeks after launching it. It means that Canadian magazines and books no longer will have a "Canadian storefront" on the popular Kindle tablet, according to a story posted on the Globe and Mail website by media reporter Steve Ladurantaye.  It means that individual single digital copies will no longer be available. No reason has been given for stopping the initiative before it had time to gain momentum. 

Amazon announced January 23 that the top-of-the-line Kindle and Kindle Paperwhite were available in Canada.
“Current subscriptions will be cancelled and refunded,” a spokesman at the company’s Canadian public relations agency Sonic Boom Creative Media said, adding he couldn’t answer any questions about why the decision was made or whether the newsstand could be revived at some point. 
The digital editions have found a niche audience among Canadian readers, who pay far less for the Kindle subscription than they would for home delivery of a physical product. Publishers across the country – whose subscriber counts range from a few hundred to a few thousand each month – said they weren’t notified of the change.
The rival Kobo newsstand will continue to offer monthly subscriptions, but not the single copies to a larger catalogue of titles which Amazon offered. Google has also recently begun selling digital magazines in Canada. And the Digital Newsstand, a joint venture between Magazines Canada and Zinio,  continues to offer both digital subscriptions and single copies of a large number of Canadian titles. 

[Update: Magazines Canada has informed me that its digital newsstand sales are up 59% in last fiscal year and it  is on track to break its second 1 million single copy sales by later in 2013.]

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