Innovation That Matters

Curated subscription samples the best indie mags


As magazines struggle to reinvent themselves for the new media landscape, alternative business models being experimented with include digital, personalized and mix-and-match subscription formats, as we’ve noted before. Now, focusing on independent magazines, a new service offers a curated subscription that delivers a sampling of the best indie magazine issues throughout the year. Just launched last week, UK-based Stack aims to bring together the best independent English-language magazines from around the world and deliver them direct to readers. Subscribers begin by choosing whether they want six, eight or 12 issues delivered to them each year. Pricing is GBP 3 per issue in the UK–elsewhere, prices vary. Choosing from among those produced by its current roster of seven independent magazines–including Arthur, Plan B and Electric Sheep–Stack then selects the best issues to send readers on the schedule they’ve requested. Readers can ask Stack to leave out a particular magazine if they already subscribe to it; they can also suggest new magazines to add to the list. Stack keeps its subscription costs low by selling advertising inserts, it says, and it guarantees the quality of what it sends. The site explains: “Each delivery of Stack is a surprise so there’s no way of knowing what will come next. However, every magazine delivered by Stack comes with a guarantee that it represents the very best of independent magazine publishing, targeted at young, intelligent readers who appreciate an alternative to the mainstream.” Offering a blend of curated consumption and try-before-you-buy capabilities for the world’s many budget-squeezed trysumers, Stack may just have the approach it takes to help indie magazines survive. In magazines and beyond, time for independents to unite! (Related: Magazine republishes best of other fashion magsOnline community promotes indie bookstores.)



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