Digital Magazine Sales via iTunes Take a Nose Dive


wired ipad edition

WWD.com is reporting that digital magazine sales purchased on iTunes for reading on the iPad have taken a nose dive. According to the Audit Bureau of Circulations, Wired has gone from 100,000 copies sold in June (its debut) to an average of 31,000 copies a month, Vanity Fair went down to 8,700 copies in November from averaging 10,500 the previous three months, and Glamour went down to 2,275 from 4,301 in September. Best guess WWD.com comes up for why this is happening: Apple charges users by the issue and doesn’t offer a discounted digital subscription plan via iTunes. Could be that (though Apple users are accustomed to buying songs individually through iTunes)… but I have a sneaking suspicion people prefer thumbing through a physical copy — with its weight, feel, smell, and readability — than a sterile digital version consisting of scanned pages which may require pinching and zooming to read comfortably (I had this experience on the NOOKcolor when trying to read Popular Science). The draw to digital magazines before they were officially rolled out for the iPad was interactivity and multimedia — none of these magazines do that to the extent of the demos we all saw early in the year. Don’t know if the lack of that has to do with Apple blacklisting Adobe’s Flash / Air technology, but I’m guessing it probably didn’t help since publishers were previously working in tandem with Adobe to create their next-gen offering for the iPad.

UPDATE: Brian on our Facebook Page pointed out an interesting fact. PEOPLE Magazine offers FREE access to their iPad digital magazine, if you’re a subscriber. Otherwise, each issue costs $4.99 to download. Sounds like the way to go in the interim. In fact, the publisher makes money from the subscriptions + money from downloads + money from digitally embedded ads. Interestingly, the other Time Inc. properties available for the iPad don’t share the same arrangement.

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Filed in: Content Providers, Industry Buzz, Portable Media Players


  • Anonymous

    i’m interested in the software to publish digital magazine to the iPad, please cntact me ernesto@momentum.mx