As predicted during its third-quarter earnings conference call, Amazon.com launched a new store on its site called simply Magazine Subscriptions that features a range of national, regional and enthusiast publications that will be cross-sold to buyers of other items.
Launched in time for the holiday sales season, the magazine store lets customers who are buying a magazine subscription as a gift have Amazon.com snail-mail the recipient a free gift card featuring the subscription information and a personalized message from the giver.
For last-minute holiday shoppers, Seattle-based Amazon.com offers electronic gift cards, which can also be personalized with a holiday greeting and the subscription details.
today was touting Esquire for $7.97 a year and Better Homes and Gardens for $13.97 per annum.
There is an amazing amount of competition in the online magazine subscription business; a quick search on Google.com turned up dozens of sites selling discount subscriptions. And Amazon books rival Barnes&Noble.com has had a magazine area for some time. (Esquire there was $8.97 today.)
Amazon, however, will try to stand out by pitching relevant magazines alongside products across the Amazon.com site; for example, gamers ordering an Xbox will be offered a chance to subscribe to Official Xbox Magazine. Kitchen & Housewares store customers will find a subscription to Bon Appetit is just a click away.
“… as we enter the holiday season, customers are looking for simple shopping solutions that provide broad selection and great value,” said Steve Kessel, general manager of Amazon.com’s Books, Music, Video and DVD segment. “With our new Magazine Subscriptions store, we’re making it even easier for Amazon.com customers to find and discover whatever they’re looking to buy online, and creating an effective new channel for publishers by surfacing relevant magazines for our customers across the … site.”