Jon Lund in GigaOM recently declared tablet magazines a failure.
That’s true in the sense that they haven’t substantially impacted overall magazine circulation. Using Alliance of Audited Media numbers, Lund lists the percentages that “digital replica” paid subscriptions, such as for tablets, contributes to the total circulation for 25 magazines. They ranged from a high of 38 percent of total circulation (Game Informer Magazine, a noted outlier) to 2 percent (People magazine).
Like Lund, I’d discourage any new publication from focusing solely on tablet apps, stored deep inside iPad folders or in the dreaded Newsstand, far from the dynamic reach of social media and the Web.
But sometimes it’s nice to retreat to a dark, quiet, closed-off space on a tablet. And magazine apps are contributing enough to circulation figures that we shouldn’t write them off as worthwhile components of our larger digital strategies — especially if publishers are smart about how much they invest in producing them. Read more