Conde Nast sees 268% digital subscription increase thanks to iPad

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

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.