Amazon is stepping back from the news and information business. The tech giant has stopped selling subscriptions to both print and Kindle magazines, and Kindle Newsstand will shut down completely in September.
Customers have until June 5 to manage print magazine subscriptions through Amazon, after which they’ll have to deal directly with the publication.
“Following an assessment of our magazine and newspaper subscription offerings via Newsstand, we have decided to discontinue the individual subscription programs for both print and Kindle, including Kindle single issues,” the company told publishers in an email obtained by Good e-Reader. “We don’t take these decisions lightly. We are winding down this program in a phased manner and will work with you throughout the wind-down process to help ensure the best experience possible for our mutual customers.”
The company has encouraged publishers to add their newspapers and magazines to its Kindle Unlimited program or Prime Reading, both of which offer an all-you-can-read option to customers, but generally result in much lower revenues for the publications.
USA Today, Time, People, Consumer Reports, and more are included in Kindle Unlimited. (Fortune is not available on the Unlimited platform.)
Amazon’s move follows in the footsteps of Apple, which in 2019 launched Apple News+, a subscription service with more than 300 magazines and newspapers, carrying a $10 per month umbrella subscription fee.
It’s also part of a general belt-tightening at Amazon under CEO Andy Jassy. In January, Amazon announced plans to cut 17,000 jobs, saying business has slowed since the start of the pandemic. The company has also delayed warehouse openings and paused work on its second headquarters in Virginia, as well as closed many of the cashierless Amazon Go stores launched under former CEO Jeff Bezos.
Kindle version magazines and newspapers were specially formatted to take advantage of the e-reader’s strengths, including adjustable font size. The iPad’s ability to show color pictures and Apple’s hardware sales advantage seemingly proved too dominant for Amazon to overcome, however.