Conde Nast sees 268% digital subscription increase thanks to iPad

Conde Nast sees 268% digital subscription increase thanks to iPad

Summary: Conde Nast's latest figures for iOS subscription sales give digital publishing a stronger footing.

TOPICS: iPad, Mobility

Apple's Newsstand for iOS has only been open to the public for a few weeks, and already the mobile app is proving to be a wild success for digital publishing.

Conde Nast might be reaping the most rewards at the moment as magazine publishing house saw a 268 percent increase in digital subscription sales since Newsstand rolled out with iOS 5 on October 12.

Following this rapid success, Conde Nast is also planning to bring three more of its heavyweight titles to Apple's tablet, including Conde Nast Traveler, Bon Appetit, and the grande dame of them all, Vogue. UPDATE: The rub is that Conde Nast didn't provide base figures. PaidContent noted that Conde Nast had a digital circulation of approximately 500,000, with a subscriber/authenticated print reader ratio of 50/50, as of late September.

This is a qualified win for Apple surely, proving the success of its digital media and potentially in-app purchase models.

But more so, this gives digital publishing the proof and a solid footing that the magazine industry has been looking for well before tablets even sprouted up last year. Based on Conde Nast's latest figures, obviously there has been plenty of untapped interest in digital magazines, and Newsstand has figured out a way to get this done.

There are a number of points and theories being tossed around on this, and any of them could be right. My thoughts after using Newsstand is that it makes buying and storing digital magazines and newspapers as simple as possible. Yes, you have to download the publication's app, but rather than taking up more screen space, everything just ports to the Newsstand.

On a more superficial note (which really does matter when it comes to consumer gadgets), the Newsstand app is also aesthetically pleasing, and there is something pretty and nostalgic about seeing the magazine covers lined up on the app in the way that they are.

We could be seeing similar soaring subscription and individual issue sales rates from other major publishing houses that jump to the digital newsstands -- possibly starting with Time Inc., which is on track to have tablet editions of every single one of the magazines in its U.S. portfolio before 2012.


Topics: iPad, Mobility

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • RE: Conde Nast sees 268% digital subscription increase thanks to iPad

    268% digital subscription increase from what base?

    3? 33? 333? 33,333?

    I think we should be told.
  • I think that is ...

    ... excellent! I think every major news web site should have a digital magazine to better monetize its services. Also moving to a local app model allows web sites to come out with innovations and services that are not possible, or are prohibitive on the web. E.g. having live discussions, or conducting live interviews, or having live seminars, which are engaging, immersive experiences, would take web sites / publications in new directions. Incorporating voice services into an app, could allow users to view and discuss articles together; and integrating collaboration services, could allow users to go a few steps further, and mark up documents together. Therefore apps allow publishers to not only better monetize their base services, but to also introduce new paying ones.
    P. Douglas
  • RE: Conde Nast sees 268% digital subscription increase thanks to iPad

    If I could get some of the magazines I read now in digital format in the News Stand, I would definitely go that route.
  • Not to pee in anybody's Post Toasties but ...

    1) A 268% increase in digital subscriptions could be determined by increasing subscriptions from a base of 25 subscribers to a whopping new number of 67. I don't want to belittle the increase in real numbers, but we have no evidence to show it's a substantial digital circulation base -- or increase -- either. And Cond?? Nast hasn't provided any definitive statistical base for relating that percentage increase in quantified or qualified terms.

    2) And how did Paid Content determine that Cond?? Nast's digital circulation is 500,000? That number comes off a total print circulation base of how much? Broken across how many pubs? Even if I buy that number, the publisher's website lists nearly 40 publications, many of which have multiple editions.

    3) Isn't that base number -- or percentage increase for that matter -- a snapshot? Over two weeks' time, that number certainly isn't sustained circulation. Previous empirical studies have shown that tablet pub circulation doesn't necessarily have a very long tail ... something Cond?? Nast previously reported itself with its experiences putting its first pub, Wired magazine, online.

    As an independent consultant serving the publishing industry, I'm hopeful for the future of digital pubs. I've spent the last four years helping print publishers extract archive content and format continuing content development into just about anything else. I'm actually looking forward to this being sustainable over the long haul, but that hasn't proven to be the case by my experience. Not by a long shot. And Cond?? Nast hasn't provided any substantiation to prove this will be any different.
    Randy Hagan
    • RE: Conde Nast sees 268% digital subscription increase thanks to iPad

      @Randy Hagan

      Maybe the advice you're doling out isn't all that brilliant?
    • RE: Conde Nast sees 268% digital subscription increase thanks to iPad

      @Randy Hagan Your right, it could have been an increase from 25 to 67 since there is no evidence on actual subscriber number but guess what, it could have been 2,500 to 6,700 just the same. I agree that just giving a percentage increase doesn't mean much but but there also isn't any evidence to jump to low ball figures either.
  • RE: Conde Nast sees 268% digital subscription increase thanks to iPad

    I know a guy that runs a truck enthusiast magazine.
    The print version was stuck in the 60,000 subscriber range. He went digital and within a few months had over 400,000 subscribers. Advertising rates are about the same to the larger base but he has no printing and shipping anymore, happy man.
  • ZombieYard iPad Games Download

    ZombieYard is 3D Shooting game.

    This game objective is that find human survivors outside
    the safety area and escort them.

    When you meet the human survivors and they go to safety area themself.

    Also You have to defend yourself from a zombies.