Updated June 01, 2023
If you've attempted to buy a Kindle Newsstand or print magazine subscription in the last couple of weeks, then you've probably been dismayed to discover that this is no longer possible.
Sadly, Kindle Newsstand is set to become a thing of the past and Amazon stopped selling all new subscriptions on March 9th.
This doesn't just apply to digital subscriptions, either - the sale of subscriptions to physical magazines and newspapers has stopped, too.
This is massively disappointing news!
Those who use Kindle eReaders will be most affected, as the Kindle specific magazines and newpapers were much easier to easier to read on those devices.
But it's a blow for us Fire users, too. I personally loved reading magazines on my Fire tablet, partly because they looked so vivid on a vibrant screen, and also for the sheer convenience of having all my subscriptions in one place.
And I suspect there are some people for whom easy access to magazines and newspapers was one of the main incentives for buying a Fire tablet in the first place.
After publishing this article I was contacted by a subscriber to my newsletter who told me about an app called Readly.
It gives you access to thousands of magazines and newspapers for one low monthly fee.
I've been trying it out and love it!
Unfortunately, Amazon's announcement on the subject really didn't give very much away!
It simply stated that the decision was made 'as part of (the) annual operating planning review process', which likely means that the subscriptions really weren't making the company very much money.
The announcement ended by explaining how to subscribe to Kindle Unlimited, through which some magazines and newspapers will still be available. This indicates quite clearly that Amazon now wants readers to use this service instead.
That's far from a good alternative, however, as Kindle Unlimited offers only a very small number of books. It also seems unlikely that many new publishers will join it.
What's more, Kindle Unlimited isn't available globally, which is a big problem.
When I bought my very first Fire tablet, I lived in the Bahamas where it wasn't easy to get books or magazines. I remember how excited I was to be able to subscribe to the Food Network magazine at the time - it felt like a little window to the world.
Sadly, this is a benefit that Fire users in certain parts of the world will now no longer be able to enjoy.
Here's the timeline of the changes:
March 9th 2023: You can no longer order a Kindle Newsstand subscription and no annual subscriptions would be renewed after this date.
June 5th 2023: Up to this date you can manage your print magazine subscriptions. After that, you'd need to contact the publisher directly.
September 4th 2023: You'll continue to receive existing monthly subscriptions until this date. After this date, you can no longer renew them through Amazon. If you have an annual subscription, you will receive it until this date or the end date of your current subscription - whichever is earlier.
In order to continue to subscribe to your favorite magazines and newspapers, you will need to set up subscriptions with the publishers themselves, then read the issues on your Fire tablet via the web.
It's not quite clear at this point if the changeover is something you'll have to do manually, or if it will be handled by Amazon.
The company has promised to share more details on the publisher customer service options in the coming months, so I'll let you know when that happens.
As I mentioned, you also have the option to subscribe to Kindle Unlimited if you live in a country where it's available, but remember that there are nowhere near as many titles available.
Any magazines or newspapers that have already been delivered will remain available to you, even after the above dates.
If you have an annual subscription that ends early because of these changes, then you will be sent a pro-rated refund.
I - and I'm sure many of you - will be sad to see the end of the Kindle Newsstand.
Only time will tell if Kindle Unlimited becomes a viable option for accessing your favorite magazines and newspapers, but at the moment I wouldn't recommend subscribing unless you're also interested in the many ebooks a subscription includes.
I ♥ My Fire!