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After four years of development and testing, and almost a year after first being publicly announced, Time Inc. has finally launched the beta version of its virtual newsstand delivery service Maghound.com.
Maghound.com will feature over 240 titles—about 40 less than Maghound Enterprises President Dave Ventresca stated when he first announced the official launch date at the CM Show in June—with plans to increase the roster of available magazines on an ongoing basis. In addition to all major Time Inc. brands, the list will include Men’s Health, ELLE, Martha Stewart Living, Maxim, Ladies Home Journal, Parents, Better Homes & Gardens, Woman’s Day, Best Life, Popular Science, Prevention, Runner’s World, Women’s Health, VIBE, Car and Driver, PC Magazine, Gardening and Bicycling.
“It’s vital for circulators even more so than ever in this economy to test innovative new ideas,” said Peter Winn, director of planning and development, consumer marketing for Bonnier Corporation. “Maghound has potential to be an important program for the industry and that is why Bonnier is in.”
The membership pricing is tiered—three titles for $4.95 a month, five titles for $7.95, seven titles for $9.95, and $1 per title for eight titles or more. Memberships can be entirely managed online, as well as by email and phone, from changing magazine title selections to updating personal information and placing magazine delivery on hold for a temporary period.
Additionally, users will be able to view the titles that are available for a specific month and the expected date of arrival. Since some magazines do not publish an issue every month, Maghound offers its members the optional benefit of selecting “substitute” titles, delivered whenever their primary titles are not available.
All titles sold on Maghound will be classified as single-copy sales. Maghound will pay the publishers a fixed fee for every copy of each title that is sold. To ensure that members do not receive direct promotional offers from multiple publishers at the same time, the company will protect members’ privacy and prohibit marketing from publishers. Enhancements to the beta version of the site are expected in early 2009.