iPad Magazine Sales Dwindling

9

Comments

+ Add a Comment
avatar

roger.tahoe

The biggest problem with The Daily is that you cannot increase the type size.

avatar

mblanche

Yes it's true for some magazine as Wired and The NewYorker (all Conte Nast). They are too expensive, too heavy in downloads MB and no subscription available.

I use mainly Zinio apps. Subscriptions are available and I have 5 different subscribed magazines that I read every issues. Les Affaires, SVM Mac, National Geographic Traveler, Côté Paris, VIV. Also, I can bought one issue only if I want and I do that with Etapes and Smithsonian. The only problem with Zinio is we can't download magazine that we have already a print subscription, as MacWorld.

Also I read every month with enthousiasm the MacLife Digital Issue on my iPad (or my Mac). I keep my printed issue for my bookshelf. Also, I print a pdf copy Cover to BackCover and transfer it to my iBooks app to read it in the subway (no wireless service).

I have also Courrier International, Le Point (all with subscription available).

I read my daily newspaper LeDevoir downloaded directly from my iPad in a pdf format with my apps File HD.

So, when the cost is fine, I think the electronic readers are there.

Keep the excellence at Mac Life, I appreciate it very much. Nice work.

avatar

mboltz

They'd probably all be doing better, much better, if they understood the same micro-payment model that Apple introduced in the iTunes Store in the first place. Wired charges $ 4 per magazine, but the app is free. Popular Science charges $ 3 for the app, and $ 3 per issue. The New Yorker is $ 5 per issue. Many just produce the magazine in the same style as the print edition. Mac|Life itself has been free, but you guys haven't updated the app with a new issue, free or otherwise, in over 4 months.

So if I can get Wired in print for less than $ 1, and not have to charge it or have restrictions on when I can use it on a plane, etc., why would I want to pay $ 4 for an iPad version that basically cost them $ 0 to distribute?? And charging me for a buggy application (many of them tend to crash), and then also charging me equal to, or better than, the newsstand price, is unreasonable.

You want to succeed at this model? Then do this:

1. Produce a "rendering engine" for your issues. Don't go crazy with it, but follow the same techniques as other iPad apps - render page turns the same way [got it, USA Today?], provide controls to bookmark pages and jump to specific articles/pages.

2. Ensure that application is relatively bug free. Test it and ensure it works well, even for large document sizes.

3. While you're at it, let it provide a library management function, like the shelves of iBooks to let me keep my back issues if I want.

4. Then let me purchase (in app) individual issues (letting me preview the table of contents first so I know if I want it or not), for $ 1 a piece.

And if someone from The New York Times is reading, please fix your app. While I like the re-design of the Times reader app, the new NYT release is VERY buggy; it crashes all the time on updates, ad loads, and by selecting articles. It *used* to be good, but somehow took on a lot of bugs that aren't fixed.

avatar

Shewhoknows

I have been patiently waiting for the day the publishers and Apple all promised would come: when current subscribers to the print magazines could transfer our subscriptions to a digital version for the same price. With the corollary that new iPad subscriptions could be purchased for the same price as the print versions, too. It's ludicrous to think that current subscribers - some of us long-time and loyal - will pay $50-60/year for a digital version of something we're probably getting in print for $8-15/year at this point (or $7/year for Esquire!). Based on the amount of other free or inexpensive information available digitally, and the high quality of it, there WILL come a time when print subscribers like me will throw in the towel and cancel print subscriptions altogether without signing up for the corresponding digital subscription. Publishers need to ensure this does not happen. I am willing to pay for digital content, and I WANT to keep subscriptions to the same magazines I currently receive. But I am also striving to become as paperless as possible, and publishers are at risk of guaranteeing that they are not part of my paperless future if they expect me to pay for single issues at such high rates. Offer $10/year Esquire, $20/year Vanity Fair, or $20/year Rolling Stone subscriptions, and I'm sold!

avatar

MatthewF

It's not just price, it's also quality. So many of these magazines -- especially the ones using Adobe's automated magazine app creator thing -- are of really poor quality. Text as graphics (and therefore not resizable or selectable or anything), lousy layout, static and inflexible navigation, and a whole host of other poor decisions result in an experience that's often so significantly worse than the paper edition that it's no wonder sales drop off.

That, and with a Wired paper subscription costing less than a $1 per issue, the $4 issue price just feels like a ripoff, even if objectively it might be a reasonable price for the content.

avatar

joekomar

Since the prices are so high i just Zinio. I may not get the fancy interactivity but for me that's fine Apple should consider buying them out, since the current model isnt working so well.

avatar

sbwolves72

If the prices were not so RIDICULOUSLY high i would buy the magazines. they are charging almost full news stand prices for these issues and I wont pay that even for paper copies...it is too expensive. they only have one set of production costs per month and virtually no distribution costs, especially when compared to regular magazines.

Start charging prices that figure more reasonably into the new model and I might go for it. They seem to be living with a short term mindset (no surprise there in the United States of A.) of soak the customer to show a great bottom line rather than a mindset of looking to the future and thinking ahead of the game building customer loyalty.

Apps have a lasting value, thus i will pay for them at higher prices. Magazines by their very nature are disposable advertisements and no one wants to pay so much for an advertisement vehicle. there is value in the magazine, of course, but even my old maclifes end up in the recycle bin after a year as they are out of date.

avatar

MatthewF

Great point about the disposability.

avatar

leonarth

Maybe if they'd allow more countries to purchase Mags subscriptions from iTunes, sales would go up.

I live in Romania, I buy Men's Health and Wired from the supermarket, I'd like to purchase a digital subscription for my iPad and I can't, only Apps on Romania's store.

Log in to Mac|Life directly or log in using Facebook

Forgot your username or password?
Click here for help.

Login with Facebook
Log in using Facebook to share comments and articles easily with your Facebook feed.