Magazine sales on Apple’s iPad plummet


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Magazine sales on the Apple iPad have dropped sharply since their debut on the leading tablet computer, according to data from the Audit Bureau of Circulations.

In fact, each magazine that reports its monthly-issue sales on the Apple iPad to the bureau has reported a decline since its publication has debuted on the tablet, according to a post on the data by the Women’s Wear Daily blog Memo Pad.


In June, when Wired magazine released its first digital issue for the iPad, it sold more than 100,000 copies.

Wired averaged about 31,000 digital sales between July and September, before falling further, according to Memo Pad.

In October, Wired sold 22,000 iPad copies, and in November, it sold 23,000, Memo Pad said.

Vanity Fair was selling an average of 10,500 digital copies of its magazine on the iPad during August, September and October. In November, its sales dropped to 8,700, the post said.

Glamour magazine sold 4,301 iPad copies in September, but sales have since declined by more than 40%, with November racking up 2,775 issues sold, Memo Pad said.

GQ sold 11,000 copies on the iPad in November, its lowest number since it launched on the iPad in April, the same month the iPad first hit stores. Between May and October, GQ has averaged about 13,000 iPad issues sold each month, Memo Pad said.


Not every magazine selling its issues on the iPad reports its sales figures to the circulation bureau. Among those not reporting are Esquire, People and the New Yorker, Memo Pad said.

The data, which are self-reported by magazines, aren’t good news for publishers who hoped the iPad and other tablets might be a new revenue stream to help offset industrywide declines in print sales over the last few years.

Media moguls Richard Branson and Rupert Murdoch are among those who started entirely new digital-only publications, betting on the idea that a robust readership is awaiting on the iPad and other tablets and even on smart phones.

Late last month, Branson’s Virgin Group started selling its Project Magazine. So far, Project is only available on the iPad, though it is headed for the Apple iPhone and Google Android platforms as well.

Rupert Murdoch, chief executive of News Corp., which owns the Fox TV networks and the Wall Street Journal newspaper, is going to launch a newspaper designed to be read on tablet computers early next year, called the Daily.

Murdoch is reportedly investing about $30 million in building the Daily, which will have a staff of about 100.



Project, Richard Branson’s iPad-only magazine, hits Apple’s App Store

Rupert Murdoch to launch iPad-only newspaper, the Daily

-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles