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Google Play Adds “Free for Print Subscribers” Option for Play Magazines

Google Play Magazines

For people who actually read magazines on their tablets, this news is huge. Recently, Google has enabled the ability for paper magazine subscribers to transfer their subscriptions to the cloud and read their content right on the slate, if the publisher okays it. 

Previously, if you subscribed to the physical magazine and wanted to read it on your tablet, Google basically forced you to buy it again, but not anymore. After a simple subscription verification process, you can access what you already pay for.

If you ask us, it’s about time.

To learn more about the new process, check here.

Via: Google | Android Police

  • omgitzjose

    i give them credit for finally catching up but i still cant read a mag on my nexus 7 not an apple fanboy at all but its a much more pleasant experience on my ipad. they feel made for the ipad not as a scanned after thought.

  • socalrailroader

    Awesome! Do you retain your print option as well though? I don’t want to choose between the two, I want both 🙂

  • VogVanVoo

    See, thats what I like about droid, they are just cool like that.


  • Ryan Chapman

    Out of the 5 magazines I have subscriptions to, only one has this option lol… Maxim, nope, Mens Health, nope, Popular mechanics…Nope

    Oh well

  • Why are electronic versions of magazines, books, etc so overpriced on the play store (and even on the Apple App store)? Common sense would say they should be cheaper considering the publishers don’t have to pay to print and ship the heavy paperback magazines but yet a magazine on the play store is $4.99 when its only $12 for an entire years worth of paper back versions ($1 per magazine).

    • scottcarmichael

      People (and companies) always believe their crap is more valuable and popular than it really is. With magazines especially, the sales people still can’t let go of the idea of circulation/readership #s when selling ads (which are total BS).

      • michael arazan

        I agree, I like Scientific American, and they won’t put their mags for ereading, their physical mags are 10x cheaper than subscribing to their site which is like $35 a month, ridiculous.

        I just hope these over priced mags in play aren’t price gouging like what happened to the other 2 app stores like amazon and ios

    • omgitzjose

      same thing with movies and tv shows why am i paying the same amount or even MORE when your saving on physical media and distribution costs? its there way of ripping people off. i never buy movies from itunes when i can buy the bluray for most of the times less money and get the DC for free.

    • Magazine Professional

      the consumer revenues associated with a subscription (shared with Google or Apple or Amazon or B&N) aren’t the number that matters. magazines are trying to increase the consumer price in the hopes of maintaining profit margins, since advertisers are unwilling to pay for readership on tablets; it turns out that absolute measurement of advertising engagement (web, mobile, social) has a strong negative impact on publisher pricing to advertisers.

  • Steen Kendle

    Still nothing for Bicycling Magazine

  • Dave Sloboda

    So I just got my new Nexus 10 today (ordered it right when they became available two days ago!) and I got the Play Magazine (and Play store) to accept that I’m a GQ subscriber and the current issue (with Bill Murray) showed up in Play Magazine…but when I click on it to read it, it just brings up blank pages that say “Get It On Google Play”. And that’s all there is, pages and pages of “Get It On Google Play”!

    I even chose to download it for offline viewing, and it still just says “Get It On Google Play”.

    Anyone have any idea on how I can actually view this magazine on my tablet?

  • I thought this was available a long time ago. Because I did this with my TIME and Fortune subscriptions atleast 2 weeks ago.

    Good find nonetheless, now more people can use this feature

  • WAldenIV

    It’s about time! Now Google just needs to release Win8 RT apps since I switched from my GTab 8.9 to the Surface RT.

    • Finire

      Sounds like a downgrade to me..

      • WAldenIV

        I needed to replace a laptop and unfortunately, like most tablets, the GTab 8.9 is just an entertainment device, not a productivity device. The Surface RT is both.

        • scottcarmichael

          No it’s not. It’s Microsoft’s last gasp in its effort to stay relevant among consumers.

          • WAldenIV

            You clearly haven’t used one. I can work from home with the Surface. Touch interface with tablet/laptop hybrids (or convertibles) is the future of personal computing.

            Not only that but Microsoft isn’t going anywhere; Windows will continue to dominate the OS landscape.

  • Of course Backpacker isn’t on there.. The one magazine I’d read while camping. (Yes, my tablet goes camping w/me..)

    • But camping is for getting in touch with the great outdoors.

      Last time i checked, a tablet isn’t found in nature. 😛

    • Jwhap

      Right! I love backpacker so much I just went ahead and purchased the the play version. It was worth it as I can carry many mags for the weight of a nexus 7!

  • ajjaeger

    “Free for print subscribers” only shows up in Play Store when on devices…not in a web browser.

    Also, no luck confirming my Wired Subscription, along with many others it appears.

    • rslh

      Retriving the Wired acct number is a PITA! I finally called and got it. Once I had that info, it was pretty easy. Their Customer Service website is pretty awful. It prompted me to sign in but it doesn’t provide you with a link to sign in! ugh.


      • ajjaeger

        Yeah there CS site is not that great. I already had an online account so I didn’t need to set one up. Even with the correct credentials I get an error.

        • rslh

          Yup. That’s exactly what I got. But the credentials still work. *shakes fist*

          • ajjaeger

            In due time, I suppose. 🙂

        • Seth Schorr

          I just did it. Just used my address. No problem.

      • No problems here. Downloading Jimmy Fallon now.The selection for print subscribers is BS though.

  • Nick Norman


  • Anyone tried this with PopSci yet? Not seeing anything yet

  • jaredgreenwald

    Finally some of the magazines I subscribe to are part of this. Wish they all were (I’m looking at *you* Game Informer).

  • crazysamz

    that’s cool and all, but who still reads most magazine anyways? Pages filled with ads

    • As opposed to the internet, which is so ad-free?

      • Droidzilla

        *As opposed to the internet, which is so free.


  • “…is solely at the discretion of the publisher.”

    No good for Men’s Health…yet :/

  • soccerdude21490

    “transfer their subscription”. Is this just poor word choice or what actually happens?

    Does this let you get the digital version in addition to the print? If so that’d be great!

  • It’s amazing how much we applaud common sense.

    • spet67

      Because it’s not really all that common.

      • michael arazan

        Every one rates mags 1 star and have been complaining about this like wired and popular series for a year now, AFT!

  • Derek Duncan

    Again, not new :-). This happened at least 3 weeks ago! Kudos to Google for doing this with Time and Conde, though.

  • John Murray

    Finally! I’ve been waiting for this!

    • hkklife

      Yes!!!! I read the print version on the toilet or in bed and I would read the electronic version anywhere else (especially for stuff like comics or more text-heavy periodicals such as NatGeo, Wired, The Economist etc). I have to admit, Conde Nast ant Time are at least TRYING to get it together to survive in the post-print age. Sadly, the vast majority ofnthe print publishers at this point are just circling the wagons and waiting for the inevitable demise.