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on July 24, 2012
There is a lot of confusion about the subscription benefits between the Kindle vs Digital vs Print offerings that need some serious clarification. The Economist is a fantastic publication so I'm writing this to make sure people aren't giving the magazine undeserved flak, and that people here understand what's going on behind the scenes...

Here is the issue: The Economist, like most other major publications, provides lots of value-added features to subscribers but make limited access to their website free for SEO and ad revenue generating purposes. These subscriber features include: full audio podcasts, full access to apps and commentary, and of course full digital access to the printed content. The digital subscriptions and authentication to access this content happens directly on the Economist's servers, so features served from the Economist's servers are easily matched and delivered to subscribers. AMAZON'S KINDLE DELIVERY INFRASTRUCTURE has a separate user database, separate servers, and a separate transfer protocol that is 100% independent of the Economist.

This wouldn't be a problem, except that AMAZON DOES NOT ALLOW PUBLICATIONS TO AUTHENTICATE AGAINST AMAZON USERS SUBSCRIBING TO THE PUBLICATIONS' OWN PRODUCT! This is technically easy to do by implementing an API for publishers. But without it The Economist has no way of knowing who is subscribing through Amazon, so they cannot offer the digital features to kindle subscribers.

This is how it SHOULD work (listen up Amazon):
1) You pay for the Kindle subscription
2) You then sign up with a free account at Economist.com that doesn't have any subscription rights to it (yet)
3) You add your amazon info to your Economist user account
4) The Economist's server pings the Amazon server, and the Amazon server says "Yup, this guy is definitely a paying subscriber, and he is paid up through XX/XX/XXXX"
5)You get the Kindle subscription every week, plus the ability to log in to the Economist.com with a newly subscriber-enhanced user account.

This doesn't work because Amazon does not allow step 4 in the above example. The Economist would LOVE to give Kindle subscribers digital access, but there's no practical way to do this because Amazon refuses to implement APIs to make Step 4 possible. The lack of digital subscriber features here is 100% AMAZON'S FAULT!

Why the same price? When you sign up as a digital subscriber directly at Economist.com, they get 100% of the $120, but from a Kindle subscription they only receive $84 out of $120 retail price on Amazon (bummer). If they charged less, they'd get only $70 or $60... and last I checked the newspaper industry isn't profitable enough to take deeper and deeper cuts into it's retail price. However, they are economists over there (just a hunch) and as a result I think they chose the CORRECT pricing strategy of $120 for the Kindle edition. Here's why: The Economist takes a 30% haircut and delivers a sub-par product via Amazon (because it doesn't include extra features), so they're subtly encouraging a reasonable person to just subscribe directly with Economist.com to receive the superior product. They make a subscription on kindle available simply to appease those few subscribers who must have a whispersynced copy formatted like the print edition on their Kindle and wouldn't subscribe under any other arrangement. In effect, kindlers are paying the "Amazon's Infrastructure Sucks For Publishers" tax by paying the same but getting less.

Unfortunately, most people's negative reviews blame the publisher for not getting the extra digital features, and interested parties are looking at these comments and writing off The Economist completely, instead of taking exception specifically to the service Amazon pigeon-holes publishers into. Of course The Economist can't really say this on Amazon, but I have no problem laying it down for them. So for my fellow Amazoners, don't just choose between subscribing or passing on the Economist, consider the kindle or (direct) digital option as well, and vote this comment up so others can see it.
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on April 5, 2015
As an avid reader of The Economist (but not a subscriber), I appreciate the ability to buy individual issues when and where I wish. My hectic work schedule doesn't allow me the leisure to read each and every issue cover to cover, so this option is perfect for me.

The price for the Kindle-version of The Economist is far less than the newsstand price. And it is always available whenever I want it. Even late at night in my hotel room in a foreign country, when all of the shops are closed!

Although the formatting and layout aren't perfect on my Kindle Paperwhite, I enjoy the ease of reading and returning to various articles. As well as being able to archive back issues.

Thanks for providing this great newspaper in a digital easy-to-obtain format. I don't know what I'd do without it.
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on March 2, 2014
This is the antidote to American National News. This magazine covers the world with thoughtful, factual news. I find for a world perspective both politically and for business this is one of the few magazines left that strives to give you the facts on a broad array of subjects. If you enjoy BBC news --this is a nice companion. If you invest overseas (emerging markets) a must have.
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on December 25, 2015
One of the best magazine for world news.
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on February 26, 2015
The depth of the articles covering the whole world is marvelous. I love the thumbnail summaries of the week's news at the beginning, which allow me to zero in on the detailed articles I want further on.
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on October 27, 2017
Up to date, smart, informative...a great investment
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on November 11, 2017
We liked it as it covers news not gossip and stupid stories that "inspire America". Bah humbug.
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on May 26, 2017
Great publication. Thanks.
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on November 14, 2017
I’ve never been as informed as I am now in national, foreign, and global news.
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on October 12, 2017
The best
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