Newsstand drives astounding increase in magazine and newspaper subscriptions

Wed, Dec 28, 2011


The iPad was set to revolutionize the print industry much in the same way the iPod revolutionized the music industry, or so people thought. In reality, the iPad, while an instant hit with consumers, failed to take the print industry by storm due to a variety of factors including unrealistic expectations and a general distrust of Apple’s business model from entrenched publishing houses.

But Apple’s Newsstand feature, released with iOS 5, has thus far done a tremendous job in driving subscriptions to magazines and newspapers. In case you’re unfamiliar, Newsstand provides users with an elegant and simple way to manage and download newspaper and magazine subscriptions from within a dedicated app. And thanks to updates which can be downloaded in the background, the entire reading experience is completely seamless, with a bevy of new reading material lying just beneath the Newsstand app.

All Things D reports:

The chart comes to us courtesy of Mag+, Bonnier’s tablet-publishing software business. And as Mag+ CEO Staffan Ekholm points out, the really promising indicator for Pop Sci isn’t the one-week sales leap of 13 percent — it’s that the the magazine’s growth picked up after that week, with more velocity.

As you can tell from the photo above (click to enlarge), subscription sales for Popular Science saw an immediate jump following the release of iOS 5 in mid-October. Whereas a 12,000 subscriber jump to 28,000 took 5 months, a subsequent 12,000 subscriber increase to 40,000+ took just 6 weeks.

And this isn’t the first we’ve heard of magazine subscriptions accelerating following the release of Newsstand. In early November Conde Naste VP Monica Ray was effusive in her praise for the new feature, which occupies a prime piece of real estate on the iPhone and iPad homepage.

“We couldn’t be happier,” explained in a press release. “It’s clear that the focused attention and greater discoverability Newsstand provides our brands has been embraced by the consumer. While we recognize the spike in sales is in part fueled by the attention the launch received, we are very optimistic that we will see a consistently higher level of growth going forward than we did prior to the app’s introduction.”

What’s more, the New York Times saw an incredible increase in app subscriptions in the days following the Newsstand launch, with its iPad app seeing a seven-fold increase in subscriptions while the iPhone app saw 85 times more downloads, jumping from 21,000 per week to 1.8 million.

Newsstand may very well be a silent killer.


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