Newsstand in iOS 5 Fueling Growth of New Magazine Subscriptions
AllThingsD takes a look at how the launch of Apple's Newsstand feature as part of iOS 5 has affected subscription sales for Popular Science magazine, revealing that the prominent placement of the Newsstand app and easy access to updated content has driven a substantial increase in new subscriptions.
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.
Based on the graph, Popular Science appears to have been adding new subscribers at a fairly constant rate of about 700 per week during the several months leading up to the debut of iOS 5. But more than a month after the significant bump immediately following iOS 5's release, the magazine is still seeing subscription growth at nearly double the rate seen before the arrival of Newsstand.
Apple developed Newsstand as a way to allow users to keep track of what could be a large number of magazine and newspaper subscriptions, housing them all in a dedicated folder where they can be updated in the background and display the latest covers to help users identify new content.
Apple is not alone, however, in trying to provide centralized access to subscription newspaper and magazine content. Just this week, Amazon updated its Kindle iOS app to add support for its newsstand of over 400 newspapers and magazines on the iPad.
Top Rated Comments
And Adobe's new Digital Publishing Suite works with it. We should be seeing some really good stuff coming out over the next few years with designers and publishers targeting the touch interface first rather than just porting print or web stuff to a digital touch based medium. Which is the same thing that made touch based apps and games successful.
The first week this app was released there were 4140 new subscribers, then it dropped to 2076 the next week. The first week of Newstand there were 3676 new subscribers, the week after that it dropped to 2125.
The average new subscriptions for the first six weeks is 1691. The average new subscriptions the first six weeks after the launch of Newstand, 1832. That's an increase of just 141 extra subscriptions per week, or 8%.
I'd wait a couple more months before declaring Newstand being a success for publishers.
Another way to make the point.
Does anyone remember The Daily? Anyone still reading it?
I'd like to see more apps work in Newsstand. Months later, NYT is the only news app that I have that appears in the Newsstand. USA Today, WSJ, CNN, MLive, Fox, Michigan Public Radio, Valet, etc, all do not.
I'd like to see more apps work like the Newstand though. Click it and a drawer opens below for quick access.
I'm a digital NY Times subscriber. I wouldn't subscribe to the paper version for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is there is no daily delivery in the city I live in. I'm also able to enjoy my subscription anywhere in the world, rather than letting copies pile up on my doorstep or in my mailbox.
A couple of million people like me add up to half a billion dollars a year in revenue for the NY Times they simply would never be able to capture without the iOS subscription model. That half billion or so is the difference between the Times being a viable top quality newspaper, or having to slash its editorial and news gathering budgets.
Newsstand may not be perfect, and undoubtedly publishers have some details to work out, but long term I see it being a major plus for journalism.