Maghound: The Netflix of magazines

MAGHOUND lets you choose magazine subscription on your own terms.

Do you really need (or want) Ski Magazine through the summer months, talking about how to keep in ski shape for the coming winter...which is eight months away? Or maybe you generally only read Cooking Light during the summer months for backyard picnic recipes?

You're in luck. Time Inc. has created MAGHOUND, a magazine service that operates much like Netflix. Instead of subscribing to particular magazine titles, you actually subscribe to a number of magazines, which you can swap out for other magazines at any time.

Getting tired of Time? Go online and schedule People to hit the following week instead. It's that easy and, importantly, the service is not merely tied to the Time Inc. portfolio of 120 magazines. It offers magazines from Conde and other competitors, too.


Why did it take the magazine industry so long to come up with something like this? This strikes me as exactly the sort of thing that can help to drive more magazine subscriptions (and hence advertising and all the good things that drive revenue for struggling media/publishing companies). It might not have worked with the library of any one company's magazines, but by combining with its competitors Time Inc. may have a winner on its hands.

Give it a try and let me know what you think. The only disappointing thing is that I can't transfer existing subscriptions into the MAGHOUND service. The Atlantic, Businessweek, Ski, and others would be MAGHOUND-ified in seconds....

Tech Culture
About the author

    Matt Asay is chief operating officer at Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu Linux operating system. Prior to Canonical, Matt was general manager of the Americas division and vice president of business development at Alfresco, an open-source applications company. Matt brings a decade of in-the-trenches open-source business and legal experience to The Open Road, with an emphasis on emerging open-source business strategies and opportunities. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mjasay.


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