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Conde Nast Teams Up With Amazon to Streamline Subscription Process

Both Companies Will Collect Data From Readers

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Conde Nast and Amazon have struck a deal in which the online giant will begin managing print and digital subscriptions for Conde titles, the companies said on Tuesday.

The program, called "All Access," is meant to simplify the subscription process by sending potential subscribers from the magazines' websites to Amazon.com, where they log in to their Amazon accounts in order to subscribe.

All Access, handled by Amazon.
All Access, handled by Amazon.

Amazon will handle the transactions and provide readers with immediate access to magazine content on Kindle Fire, iPad, Android tablets and phones. Conde Nast will continue to handle the delivery of print orders through the Postal Service, the company said.

In handing over subscription-fulfillment to Amazon, Conde Nast is not giving up the valuable data it collects from subscribers: names, emails and home addresses. Amazon gets the same information that it normally would from someone making a purchase on the site, a company spokeswoman said.

It's the first time a magazine publisher has reached such a deal with Amazon and the first time Conde Nast has worked with a third-party to deliver print and digital subscriptions. Potential subscribers can continue to go directly to Conde Nast to manage their subscriptions, and the company said no layoffs will result from the change.

The partnership comes as many of Conde Nast's titles are turning in strong years in terms of ad pages. Vogue's September issue, for instance, is its third-largest. Still, the company has not been immune to the head winds facing publishing. Single-copy sales at Glamour were off nearly 29% through the first half of 2013, according to the Alliance for Audited Media. Vogue's newsstand dropped 10% and Vanity Fair's fell 11%.

Since 2011, Conde Nast has sold subscriptions to its iPad editions via Apple iTunes. In that arrangement, both companies share subscriber data, according to a Conde Nast spokesman. Subscriptions to Conde Nast titles are also available for the Nook on the Barnes & Noble website.

Just 4% of the company's total subscriptions are digital only.

Seven Conde titles are participating in All Access -- Vogue, Glamour, Bon Appetit, Lucky, Golf Digest, Vanity Fair and Wired -- with the remaining titles joining the program later in the year, the company said. Conde has rolled out the program with basement-priced introductory offers, including a six-month print subscription to Glamour for just $3.

Amazon will receive a cut of the subscriptions. Conde Nast and Amazon declined to discuss the financial terms of the agreement.

Last year, Conde Nast joined Hearst, Time Inc., Meredith and News Corp. in offering several of their titles to Next Issue Media, which provides a Netflix-style experience for magazines' tablet editions. A subscription to the service offers readers access to a range of titles.

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