Spoiler: It’s Amazon’s roof
No stranger to introducing new products, Amazon has added something different from its regular selection of goods: digital subscriptions.
Subscribe with Amazon is the newest addition to the retail giant’s ever-expanding repertoire, offering a way for subscription-supported services to let customers check out directly through Amazon’s website.
According to a press release, Subscribe with Amazon will improve visibility by offering a service its own listing on the Amazon site, as well as easy-to-use APIs for conveniently managing a page and offering simple payment plans of the introductory, monthly, and annual variety.
What does that mean for customers? For the regular Amazon shopper, the process of picking up a few months of Consumer Reports or premium Dropbox access is virtually the same as adding anything else to your Amazon cart.
Integration with Amazon also means you can manage multiple subscriptions just by checking one site — a boon to those who prefer not having their personal and credit card information spread out over a dozen different online locations.
Prime and subscribe
Of course, Amazon is ultimately running a business, so services that go with Subscribe with Amazon will have to fork over 30% of whatever they make from new subscribers, dropping to 15% for repeat buyers.
Additionally, Subscribe with Amazon also gives the company a chance to increase the value of its own subscription service. Amazon plans to offer special deals via Subscribe with Amazon exclusively for Amazon Prime members, such as a discount on a digital magazine subscription or a free month of online crafts courses.
To qualify for selling through Subscribe with Amazon, a service currently has to offer a product via an app, website or software. Second, the business needs to be based in the US. Finally, customers must pay a recurring fee to access the product.
This is far from Amazon’s first attempt at doing everything in-house for digital services. The company introduced Amazon Coins back in 2013 as an incentivized, alternative digital currency for buying apps and making in-app purchases, though these are currently exclusive to Amazon Fire devices.