Google News is ditching its digital magazine subscriptions

As with physical newspapers, the days of people buying magazines are nearly over. Once popular, these publications have grown increasingly archaic. Though digital magazine subscriptions remain a thing, they've never been able to compete with the convenience and on-demand nature of an ordinary website. Perhaps underscoring this change in content consumption is Google's decision to ditch its print-replica digital magazine subscription.

Digital magazines aren't quite going away — it's still possible to sign up for these subscriptions through services like Zinio and Amazon. However, the Google News print-replica magazine subscription — which provides copies of the physical edition of various magazines — is going away.

According to a letter sent to subscribers (and published by Android Police), Google will refund its subscribers their last payment; customers should expect to see these refunds appear within 30 days, according to Google, though the exact duration may vary by user.

The decision to drop this service isn't entirely surprising. Though print-replica magazines were once a popular alternative to going to the newsstand to buy the physical 'zine, these copies are no longer practical — they're hard to read on phone screens and on smaller tablets, forcing the user to zoom in and move the image around.

True digital magazines, which are dynamic rather than scanned, are much easier to read on digital devices regardless of their screen sizes. As for the existing print-replica magazines purchased by Google's customers, the company says they will retain access to those copies after the subscription disappears.