Remember June 2010? I know, it seems like just yesterday or, you know, six months ago, but to publications like Wired it must seem like a lifetime ago. Those halcyon days of selling 24,000 copies of the digital edition of your magazine in one day, and going on to move over 100,000 copies in the first month. Why, they must have been thinking they could do away with printers all together! But, alas, the salad days have come to an end it would seem, and it’s probably a good thing no one told their printing partners to take a hike.
According to the latest numbers from the Audit Bureau of Circulations, which keeps track of periodical sales numbers, Wired sold 31,000 copies on the iPad for July through Sept., 22,000 in Oct. and 23,000 in Nov. While still respectable numbers for something that doesn’t cost them that much to produce, it’s still never good to see a drop of around 70 percent in sales that quickly. True, the first month was a lot of people, myself included, checking out the novelty of the concept, but you would certainly hope they could have held on to at least a few more of those people.
It isn’t just Wired, however, that is seeing low numbers. Vanity Fair sold 8,700 downloads in Nov. compared to the 10,500 it averaged from Aug. to Oct. GQ, which garnered a lot of attention when it came to the iPhone and iPod Touch earlier on, sold 11,000 copies in Nov., marking its worst performance yet. Glamour sold 4,301 iPad copies in Sept., but sales dropped 20 percent in Oct. and then another 20 percent in Nov. to only 2,775 copies.
Not all magazines report their numbers such as Esquire, The New Yorker and People, but you can’t imagine they are doing much better.
All of this makes you wonder how the much ballyhooed Apple/News Corp iPad-only newspaper, The Daily, will do. True, these magazines are charging nearly cover price for their digital editions, which is just insane, while The Daily is rumored to cost 99¢ a week. Is it pricing that is driving people away, or are they just not enjoying the reading experience on the iPad? My guess would be the former as the Apple tablet seems to be doing well for book reading, but only time will tell once this new “newspaper” launches.
What say you? Have you lost interest in magazines on the iPad?