iPad based magazine subscriptions in a slump
iPad magazine sales seem to be in a bit of a slump. Many magazine publishers have made their content available on iPad as it's an easy way to read content without having to have paper copies littering your home or office. If it's more convenient, why are magazine sales on the iPad not doing so great?
In August, 10,500 users bought issues of Vanity Fair on their iPads. In August, only 8,700 copies were purchased via the iPad. Glamour magazine was in even worse shape with only 2,775 iPad issues sold in October. We all know that paper copies of magazines are on their way out, but shouldn't that mean that virtual copies should literally be flying off digital shelves?
Part of the issue may be the fact that Apple and publishers still haven't agreed on a universal, built-in subscription service (Apple wants to handle the transactions, publishers want to know who you are so they can do marketing based on demographic data). So for now, in order to purchase these magazines, you have to buy each issue individually. That can be a hassle. Since there are often steep discounts on the paper copies but none on the digital version, it can also be much more expensive.
As far as from a magazine stand point, maybe they need to switch gears on their own. There are several sport apps available that you have to purchase yearly. What about that type of model? What if a magazine had a few different apps with different price points? For a year subscription, price the app at the cost of a year's subscription. Then issue updates for each issue. Not an ideal situation but maybe a temporary solution to keep subscribers reading.
Do you guys read magazines on your iPad? Does no subscription model keep you from buying additional issues on a weekly/monthly basis?