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Barnes & Noble offers free Nook editions to subscribers

August 24, 2011

Barnes & Noble is giving consumers free Nook Color editions to the magazines they subscribe to, such as Time Inc.’s People, Fortune and Sports Illustrated.

In addition, the publishing company has rolled out more than 12 new magazines to its Nook Color newsstand. The deal also cements all of Time Inc.’s publications into the newsstand by the end of the year.

“Barnes & Noble has long-standing relationships with the leading periodical publishers and works closely with these partners to bring Nook Color customers access to the most popular magazines and newspapers in digital form,” said Jonathan Shar, vice president of digital newsstand at Barnes & Noble, New York.

“This is an incredible way for print subscribers to sample their favorite magazines in digital form and another way for us to differentiate Nook Color,” he said.

Hand-picked subscriptions
The Barnes & Noble Nook newsstand now offers more than 200 magazines to readers.

As part of the new rollout, six magazines including Time Inc.’s Fortune, People and Sports Illustrated will have special edition publications for the Nook Color.

“We’re excited to work with Time Inc. to offer their titles to Nook Color customers who are print subscribers to Fortune, People, Time and Sports Illustrated as an added value,” Mr. Shar said.

Examples of additional content that users can access with their Nook editions include audio, video and photo galleries.

In addition to magazines, the Nook newsstand also added 10 daily newspaper subscriptions. Consumers can either download periodicals with a 14-day free trial or buy copies individually.

Examples of newspaper editions include the Kansas City Star, The Miami Herald and The Sacramento Bee.

“Our award-winning Nook devices give reading lovers the ability to read what they love anywhere they like,” Mr. Shar said.

“With Nook Color, we built Nook Newsstand to offer customers their favorite periodicals anywhere they go,” he said.

“Our readers tell us how much they enjoy the device and reading magazines on it.  We now offer more than 200 periodicals and the largest collection of top 100 magazines of any digital newsstand.”

Read on mobile
The Nook Color debuted in April 2011 and competed against other tablets with the goal of letting consumers read content in color, similar to how a magazine is read.

Barnes & Noble is only one example of a publisher that is letting consumers access both print and digital publications.

As mobile continues to grow, consumers want access to their favorite magazines and content to go with them wherever they are.

However, one of the biggest challenges in mobile publishing is making sure that readers are able to afford both print and digital issues.

One recent example of a publisher tapping into consumers with paid subscriptions and additional content is The Tribune Co., which is said to be developing a tablet (see story).

Additionally, publishers have seen mobile as a space to place special, bundled content that they cannot get elsewhere.

“Barnes & Noble offers customers one place to read interactive, full-color magazines, more than 600 interactive kids’ books, and more than two million Nook books across multiple devices,” Mr. Shar said.

“With millions of Nook customers enjoying these devices every day, we continue to build upon our world’s largest digital catalog to deliver the best content that our customers want to read and enjoy,” he said.

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York

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