Amazon launches self-serve marketplace for subscription-based sellers

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Many companies that offer a subscription-based product or service have an easier way to sell their wares to customers with today’s launch of Subscribe with Amazon, a self-serve platform that’s already being used by several major publishers and well-known brands.

Subscription offerings are available to consumers now on a dedicated subscription storefront. Major publishers like The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, People magazine and Consumer Reports are selling there already, as are subscription product providers like Sling TV, Dropbox and The Princeton Review. In addition to the storefront, Amazon says it’ll also surface subscription offerings in its product recommendations and search results.

Sellers can set their own subscription prices, with the option to offer free trials, set different service tiers and — of course — offer special deals for Amazon Prime members. It’s free to sign up, but Amazon is going to pocket some of the sellers’ sales in exchange for the visibility on Sellers will keep 70 percent of each transactional amount during a customer’s first year as a subscriber, then keep 85 percent after a subscriber’s first year.

The self-serve platform lets sellers create the detail/landing page for their product or service, add photos and more. As I said above, it’s open to many companies that offer subscription-based products and services, but not all.

Subscribe with Amazon is purely digital for now; it doesn’t currently support companies selling physical subscription products. (For some physical products, Amazon offers a separate “subscribe and save” service.) Amazon also says sellers wanting to offer subscriptions in the music or video categories will go through a case-by-case review before being approved. More information and an online application form are available at

Although the self-serve platform is new for Amazon, selling subscription-based products isn’t. Amazon launched a magazine subscription store all the way back in 2001.

About The Author

Matt McGee is the Editor-In-Chief of Marketing Land and Search Engine Land. His news career includes time spent in TV, radio, and print journalism. After leaving traditional media in the mid-1990s, he began developing and marketing websites and continued to provide consulting services for more than 15 years. His SEO and social media clients ranged from mom-and-pop small businesses to one of the Top 5 online retailers. Matt is a longtime speaker at marketing events around the U.S., including keynote and panelist roles. He can be found on Twitter at @MattMcGee. You can read Matt’s disclosures on his personal blog. You can reach Matt via email using our Contact page.


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