Everyone’s writing about an article on WWD Media blog about the declining sales of iPad magazine apps. I’m not sure why this is news; we’ve already seen this happen.
Many magazines that are available on the iPad, such as Esquire, People and The New Yorker, have not posted their digital single-issue sales to the ABC. But Vanity Fair sold 8,700 digital editions of its November issue, down from its average of about 10,500 for the August, September and October issues. Glamour sold 4,301 digital editions in September, but sales dropped 20 percent in October and then another 20 percent, to 2,775, in November. GQ’s November edition sold 11,000 times, which was its worst performance since April (when the iPad was released) and represents a slight decline from its average digital sales of 13,000 between May and October.
To be honest, the only part that surprises me is that the sales didn’t drop off as fast as I expected. I was expecting Wired to crash, not plateau.
You might recall that I posted a couple months ago that I thought magazine apps weren’t a good value. TBH, I was late to the game. Almost everyone I’d listen to on this topic had already said the same. I can also recall that we saw much this same story back in the spring with GQ magazine. That magazine debuted on the iPhone with excellent sales that dropped off the next month. Now most of the other magazines are following the same pattern.