business news in context, analysis with attitude

With brief, occasional, italicized and sometimes gratuitous commentary…

•  GoodE-Reader.comm reports that Amazon is "abandoning the Kindle for Periodicals or the Kindle Newsstand, which will completely shutter on September 2023. Digital editions for magazines and newspapers are going to be shuttered. Amazon is trying to convince publishers to submit their newspapers and magazines to Prime Reading or Kindle Unlimited, but it remains to be seen if this will happen.

"Amazon has just sent an email to customers who currently subscribe to the Kindle editions of magazines. It stated, 'Thank you for being a valued Amazon Kindle Newsstand subscriber. We are writing to inform you that we have decided to stop selling Kindle magazines and newspaper subscriptions on Amazon.' It then lists all active subscriptions to confirm the email is legit."

The story points out that "one of the significant advantages of magazines and newspapers on the Kindle is that they were optimized for the Kindle. They read like ebooks, where you can increase the text size or change the font type. Some pictures were in black and white to separate all of the text. This was the significant advantage of a Kindle.

"The closure of the Amazon Newsstand will hit hard all genre magazines like Clarkesworld, Uncanny Valley, Asimov’s or Fantasy & Science Fiction. They have many subscribers on Kindle, and it is the only viable option for many international subscribers. Kindle Unlimited is not available worldwide and only in select countries.

"Some magazines and newspapers will decide it is not worth including their content in Amazon’s Unlimited program. Users will have to subscribe to each digital magazine separately and either read it in the web browser or install apps on their smartphone or tablet instead of an eye-friendly Kindle e-reader that is easy on the eyes."

What Amazon doesn't say is that it is ending the program because not many people were using it, which certainly is possible.  But the optics are that Amazon is making a move that is all about streamlining its own business as opposed to maintaining a program that is good for its customers.  Not to overreact to what probably is a small decision about a minor matter, but it does sometimes seem as if we're seeing Amazon's shift from being "the everything store" to being "the stuff that is good for our business store."  There's nothing wrong with being that, but it isn't the entrepreneurial engine that has driven Amazon during its first three decades of business.