Are digital magazine subscriptions worth it?
I'm likely going to purchase a few issues before a flight to see if it's worth it, but I'm just curious what others experiences have been. Part of my hesitation, at least on iOS, is them being tied into Newsstand and what happens if Newsstand goes away.
Speaking of Newsstand, discovering and find magazines is a bit of a mess.
I am actually finding that the digital versions are cheaper, especially if you can get them at a promotional rate, and more reliably delivered than my actual mail (*shakes fist at Canada Post*)
Wired - ($1.99 a month) Less than a cup of coffee at Starbucks, and provides more enjoyment
Car and Driver ($19.99/year, works out to $1.67 a month) See above
Esquire ($7.83 a year, less than $1 an issue) Same deal here
Yes, if Newsstand goes away I lose access to issues I had, but I rarely read issues once I am done with them. I also am not a collector and don't need to archive them on a shelf. My monthly and annual investment in the service is quite low actually.
If anything, I find myself zooming a bunch on my Nexus 7 to make the small text a readable size.
The only issue I have with it is their weird licensing... some "men's magazines" (yes, those kind) are available on the PC or OS X application, but not on the tablet app for instance... which I think is very strange. Some magazines (like Wired) are only available in the UK addition, but not the US... things like that.
So, I would recommend logging onto the Zinio website to see what they have available and if their library covers most of your needs.
I've experimented with Newsstand on the iPad (one technical and one photography sub), and it is a far better reading experience - particularly with photos. However, buying mags from Newsstand's Store is not a great experience when compared to shopping in Amazon's online store. Too bad.
The burden of DRM is worrying; but, for the most part, I'm not as troubled with it when it comes to magazines as I am with books. I'm not going to care if I can't read most of the magazines in a year or two, but I do worry about my ebook collection.
My suggestion would be to make your own magazine with a folder in Instapaper or Pocket or your Read Later service of choice. Instead of reading an article that day send it to the folder and group similar articles together in a folder, if possible. Then, when the weekend comes you have a personally curated magazine about topics you are interested in.
That said, awhile back I snagged some deal for National Geographic were I get both the physical copy each month as well as access to their digital magazines via Newsstand. It's pretty nifty (but honestly, I hardly use the Newsstand version unless I'm traveling and want something to read before a flight takes off...)
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