I'm using the word subscription with the following meaning:

subscription: an arrangement to receive something, typically a publication, regularly by paying in advance.

(Definition taken from Google, I'm not sure how to link to the source)

Basically, I'm looking for a word that is an arrangement to send something.

Does anyone have any good suggestions for what that might be?

I have thought about Producer & Publication, but they seem a little off to me. A 'Producer' can produce the something to send, but doesn't necessarily have to send them and a Publication seems like the something that is being sent.

  • 3
    I'd imagine it's still a subscription. You're just selling a subscription rather than buying it.
    – Ronan
    Commented Aug 22, 2014 at 10:32
  • Publish-subscribe is the usual name for such a bilateral arrangement. But I like @Ronan's comment - the contract is still a subscription, and a magazine's marketing department is concerned with how many such subscriptions it can sell.
    – Dan Bron
    Commented Aug 22, 2014 at 10:39
  • I would think when you say you're selling a subscription, you are a salesman trying to sell something for a company though.
    – Tyress
    Commented Aug 22, 2014 at 11:03
  • Sorry, I should have mentioned that I've considered Publish/Publisher too. @DanBron that is the use case we're thinking off, but we're having trouble naming our abstracted Roles. Publisher is the overall thing that can send messages, but it's not in charge of actually sending the message. More Googling seem to point out that Publication can be both the thing produced and the process of producing the thing.here
    – Dan Temple
    Commented Aug 22, 2014 at 11:11
  • @DanTemple, the organ of a newspaper (or whatever) charged with actually getting the product in people's hands is usually named "delivery". You have "delivery trucks" and "delivery networks" (or, I suppose, "paper boys" and "paper routes"). Similar roles in other industries are called "(order) fulfillment" or "distribution" -- and there are such things as "distribution agreements".
    – Dan Bron
    Commented Aug 22, 2014 at 11:36

2 Answers 2


Fulfillment is the other half of subscription. It means meeting of a requirement or condition.

It doesn't necessarily have to do with sending on its own, but you might say delivery fulfillment (because it's a contractual obligation).

It wouldn't be unusual if, in the industry, the department is any of delivery, delivery fulfillment, or fulfillment.

  • I've deleted my answer since I think this best captures the other side of the subscription contract.
    – Tyress
    Commented Aug 22, 2014 at 11:56
  • But "subscription" is an arrangement or agreement, whereas "fulfillment" is an act or process. To convey the idea of an obligation, you is have to extend "fulfillment" in some way, like "fulfillment contract", which is how it's usually phrased in industry, but this isn't totally satisfying in this particular situation (as I explain in my answer).
    – Dan Bron
    Commented Aug 22, 2014 at 12:15
  • @DanBron or order fulfillment which I explained as delivery fulfillment. A contract is a contract. Subscription is more or less a purchase to receive items on a schedule. If the OP wants to have send items on a schedule, that's scheduled delivery. But there aren't many usages for the sender to initiate a contract. The purchaser buys and receives. The vendor sells and sends.
    – SrJoven
    Commented Aug 22, 2014 at 12:29
  • On further reflection, it's not a "lack of obligation" that's bugging me; after all, in "fulfillment", you're fulfilling something: almost always discharging an obligation of some sort. No, it's that "fulfillment" (and, unfortunately, my own "livery") are acts, whereas a "subscription", in the sense sought, is an instrument. What we need is "an instrument representing the obligation to deliver a publication". Which, bringing us full circle, is, unfortunately, simply a "subscription" (which is, by definition, a bilateral obligation).
    – Dan Bron
    Commented Aug 22, 2014 at 12:33
  • 1
    Yes, Sr Joven, so coming full circle, and going back to the very first comments (and my later ones), and answer to OP's question is (unfortunately) "a subscription".
    – Dan Bron
    Commented Aug 22, 2014 at 13:37

The department of a newspaper or other periodical responsible for getting the product into people's hands is typically called "Delivery" (whence "delivery trucks", "delivery routes", and so on).

But "delivery" is an act, not an agreement, and also lacks the ongoing aspect of "subscription". In other industries, we have such things as "distribution agreements", and "fulfillment contracts", but there the "arrangement" idea is explicit, unlike "subscription", where the concept of agreement is tacit and subsumed into the larger definition.

So, since these terms are not an improvement, we might as well stick with our periodical metaphor. Turning back to "delivery", then, we notice it has an embedded concept which may be of use: "de-livery".

"Livery" is defined, in part, as:

1 archaic : the apportioning of provisions especially to servants : allowance

4 : the act of delivering legal possession of property

5 a : the feeding, stabling, and care of horses for pay

That is, livery, at least in an archaic sense, is the "the distribution of what is properly due (because of a legal, commercial, or social arrangement".

As I said, however, that's an obsolete sense for the term. Perhaps the closest modern equivalent is an "allowance":

allowance: *A sum of money paid regularly to a person, typically to meet specified needs or expenses.*

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