The venerable Egon Spangler once said, "print is dead." The statement may have been premature, but today it feels a little more on point because Google has begun the process of retiring its print-replica magazine service. Emails are going out to Google News users with active subscriptions to inform them that full refunds are being processed and there will be no new issues coming.
If you have an outstanding subscription, the full amount will be refunded to you somewhere during the next month or so, depending on payment method. Even though your collection of issues won't be growing any larger, that don't mean you'll lose access to those you've already purchased. Your library will still be accessible in the Google News app through the Favorites or Following tab.
Subject: To all current Magazine Paid Subscribers
This notification is to inform you that we’re discontinuing print-replica magazines in Google News.
This means you won’t be able to purchase new print-replica magazine issues or renew your subscription via Google News. However, you’ll continue to have access to all issues you previously subscribed to in the Google News app, in the Following or Favorites tab, depending on your app version. To continue to read the latest articles, we encourage you to search for that publication in Google News, or visit the publication’s website:[list of subscriptions]
Your last payment for your subscription(s) will be refunded. Most refunds are completed within 30 business days. The time it takes for the refund to appear depends on how you paid. If your refund is taking longer than expected, you can check the refund status in your Google Payments account. If you have not received your refund after reviewing the respective timelines in the resources above, please contact us and we’ll look into this for you.
We apologize if this causes any inconvenience. Thank you for your support.
Google News team
The email suggests re-subscribing with each magazine independently and links to the websites for each of your active subscriptions. Of course, not all magazines are available in digital-only subscriptions, or even necessarily with a digital offering of any kind outside of the collaborations with online stores like the Google Play Store and Apple App Store.
This brings to an end a fairly tumultuous history for magazine content that began in 2012 with the launch of the Play Magazines app. Google later renamed it to Play Newsstand to give more focus to newspapers, and eventually merged everything (including the News and Weather app) into Google News. To be fair, most of us expected this after the magazine section disappeared from the Play Store web interface just over a year ago.
- Jim and Ben