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Magazines Gain iPad Subscribers

New Yorker: We’ve Got 20,000 iPad Subscribers

Leslie Horn By Leslie Horn

Conde Nast has given the first look at the performance of magazines on the iPad with the release of some early sales figures for The New Yorker.

The New York Times reports that 20,000 people have purchased annual subscriptions at a yearly rate of $59.99. An additional 75,000 print subscribers have taken advantage of the option to download the iPad version of the magazine for free, and “several thousand” readers have bought individual issues for $4.99 a week. Overall, Conde says The New Yorker has 100,000 readers on the iPad.

Part of the reason The New Yorker has faired well on the iPad is because there is an overlap in demographics. Both iPad users and New Yorker readers tend to come from households with an annual income of more than $100,000, the Times points out.

The numbers might be promising, but they’re small compared to The New Yorker’s one million print subscribers. However, iPad magazines are relatively new, and subscriptions to them are even newer. Conde Nast released the New Yorker app last September, and Apple didn’t launch a subscription platform for iPad magazines until February.

Magazine publishers weren’t quick to sign onto the platform, either. Most of them felt the terms of the platform were unfair; it provided that Apple get 30 percent of all subscription sales and maintain control of subscribers’ personal information. But apparently publishers were able to get Apple to make some concessions, and Conde Nast announced iPad subscriptions in May, starting with The New Yorker. It also offers subscriptions to its other publications including GQ, Vanity Fair, Wired, Glamour, Golf Digest, Self, and Allure.

The Times says The New Yorker is Conde’s best-selling iPad magazine, although sales figures were not disclosed for other publications.

Hearst is the only other publisher to offer standalone iPad subscriptions, starting with the July issues of three of its magazines, Esquire, Popular Mechanics, and O: The Oprah Magazine. It has yet to release any details about the performance of these mags.

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