Early this month, Amazon announced a new service for Kindle -- a free "digest edition" of Fantasy & Science Fiction Magazine. It's an ambitious gamble, because science fiction is a growing market (thanks to all the movies out there) and the printing/publishing empire is changing so drastically that it's hard to predict what the shape of the industry will look like in ten years.
Subscription services seem to be the "thing" of the future.
The question is, "will it work?" We're getting information-jammed, with news and ebooks (including material that wouldn't even make it into fanzines) from all sides. In addition, with the economic situation we are working longer and harder and have less leisure time. While subscriptions might temporarily save publishers, the big question is how stable is this in the long term?
Everyone who succumbed to a National Geographic subscription raise your hands.
Right. And how long did you keep it?
Right. (some still have it, many don't)
It gets kicked around a lot -- but I think the "take away" lesson for writers or comic book artists is that if it's possible, look into RSS feed syndication that would allow your fans to be able to have stories and art delivered to their mailbox (and nuked quietly if they decide to not read it.)