Magazines: what's the best way to get both print and e- subscription?
July 12, 2013 5:47 PM   Subscribe

Ideally, I'd like to find a way to get subscribed to BOTH the print and electronic versions, under one subscription charge, through one platform. (e.g. Buy a print subscription through Amazon and get the Kindle version free, or v.v.)

So it's time renew or cancel a bunch of magazine subscriptions.
I have a few for print editions, and a few that are electronic subscriptions.
Some are really great on a tablet, others are better in print; in several cases, my subscriptions are currently for the wrong format.

Ideally, I'd like to find a way to get subscribed to BOTH the print and electronic versions, under one subscription charge. (e.g. buy print and get e- free, or v.v.)

Would I be best off trying to a) go directly through each publisher or b) subscribe through Amazon or B&N? The latter would be more convenient, handling all of my billing through one outlet, and getting all the e-versions delivered through a single platform such as a Kindle or Nook app.

Anyone doing this? Sometimes you want a virtual armful of back issues on an e-reader for the plane, other times you want to catch up on your unread New Yorkers while in the tub?
posted by bartleby to Shopping (5 answers total)
I tried this 2 years ago with my Kindle and at the time this was impossible, so I would not bother unless you really prefer the Kindle. On my iPad I subscribe via the individual publishers since the prices for print magazines + tablet access for the magazines I read was usually the same or cheaper than tablet access only. (I do not have a Nook so I cannot comment on that ecosystem.)

One thing to keep in mind if you hoard periodical subscriptions: my iPad magazine subscriptions are account bound, but there seems to be some machine-bound component to the Kindle because you can't download older issues past a certain date to a new device and you can't transfer the files themselves. It's unfortunate, because I strongly prefer eink to the tablet display, but I read a lot of fiction magazines and not being able to take those issues with me to a new device or being able to redownload them was a dealbreaker. YMMV.
posted by angst at 6:11 PM on July 12, 2013

Check the publishers. National Geographic for example includes free access to the iPad edition, including extra features and back issues, for all print subscribers. Which I didn't realize until quite some time after getting my iPad. At least for that magazine, it works on every iOS device I have authorized against my account.
posted by caution live frogs at 6:58 PM on July 12, 2013

The New Yorker includes e-access for their print subscribers, although I've never actually tried to use mine. I think a lot of publishers throw in e-reader accessibility with print subscriptions, but not necessarily vice versa.
posted by The Elusive Architeuthis at 7:41 PM on July 12, 2013

The best deal on the New York Times is Sunday Only delivery, which they don't advertise. It comes will full digital access on all devices, web access (including to the reproduction edition, like they use in hotels), and the archive. Directly subscribing to the digital plan only is in fact more expensive. Go figure.
posted by snuffleupagus at 10:46 PM on July 12, 2013

(Kindle not included in 'all devices' -- probably best to read that as 'iOS and Android.')
posted by snuffleupagus at 6:17 AM on July 13, 2013

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