iPad Hasn’t Saved Magazine Industry… Yet


ipadmoney_smallADOTAS – No, magazine industry, the iPad is not your Santa Claus. While many magazines with paid-mobile editions are yet to send their digital single-issue sales to the Audit Bureau of Circulations, but the ones that have aren’t spreading good cheer.

Wired astounded the digital world by selling 100,000 digital copies when it debuted on the iPad in June, but it averaged only 31,000 monthly sales between July and September. Sales fell to 22,000 in October but climbed up to 23,000 in November.

The digital thrill also seriously dissipated for several other major mags:

  • Averaging 13,000 digital monthly sales between May and October, GQ came in very short for November at 11,000.
  • Vanity Fair dispersed 8,700 digital editions for November issue, compared to an average of 10,500 for the prior three months.
  • After selling 4,301 digital copies in September, Glamour’s figures dropped 20% in October and then another 20% in November to 2,775.
  • Finally, Men’s Health fell to 2,000 in September and October, after averaging 2,800 in the spring.

However, look for those numbers to turn around — at least a bit — after the holiday season as the iPad and the Samsung Galaxy tablet were hot holiday gifts. Also, there’s a slew of new tablets — including the iPad 2 — about to explode on the market in 2011.

What ABC’s numbers really suggest is that many iPad and other device users were not impressed with the tablet offerings. If they want the iPad and its cousins to save them, the magazines above need to soup up what they’re selling. Alex Wilhelm at TheNextWeb has some good suggestions.


  1. Digital magazine subscriptions won’t take off until publisher’s stop trying to charge newsstand prices for each issue, and stop whining that it’s more expensive to produce a digital edition.


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