Survey suggests iPad users want more magazines on tablet

Nov 21, 2011
Tech

Back when Apple first rolled out its subscription setup for publications in the iTunes App Store, there was quite a bit of initial enthusiasm. Despite some issues with the policy at first, it seemed like most publishers were seeing the iPad (and other tablets like it) as a big new revenue stream for an industry […]

Back when Apple first rolled out its subscription setup for publications in the iTunes App Store, there was quite a bit of initial enthusiasm. Despite some issues with the policy at first, it seemed like most publishers were seeing the iPad (and other tablets like it) as a big new revenue stream for an industry that had been struggling for years producing primarily in print and on the web.

It has been about six months since that subscription policy was enacted. Some publishers, such as Conde Naste, have embraced the iPad with many magazines and have seen a big boost in subscriptions, while others have kept things a little more calm and made only a few issues or publications available for Apple’s juggernaut mobile device. But according to a new survey from by the Association of Magazine Media, a publishing trade group, it seems people who read magazines and other publications on their iPads would like to be reading even more on their devices.

AllThingsD has the story, in which the survey finds that some two-thirds of people reading magazines, newspapers and similar publications on tablets and e-readers expect to be reading even more of those kinds of publications on their tablets in 2012. Of those, 63 percent say they want more publications available on their devices. The survey also found about 46 percent of users are consuming more publications in general, both in print and on tablets. The majority of magazines and other publications are consumed on the iPad, AllThingsD writes, though the survey was targeted at all tablets and e-readers.

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The survey focused on 1,009 people who were “pre-screened” for owning the right kinds of mobile devices – tablets and e-readers – and for using magazine apps on those tablets. As AllThingsD writes, the very fact that the survey has been conducted says something about the mobile industry in general and the mobile publishing industry in particular. Up until just recently, there weren’t enough people in both of those categories to accurately conduct a study, an Association of Magazine Media spokesman said.

The information gleaned from the survey paints a pretty rosy picture of the future of the magazine business, but it also shows that Apple’s bid to handle subscriptions on its mobile device has paid off pretty well. That the survey even exists shows, apparently, that lots of iPad customers are reading magazines on their tablets. And as the survey data demonstrates, many of them wish there was more to read.

Magazine and newspaper publishers have been struggling for years with the transition into a digital age. Print subscriptions are declining, while making strong revenues from the Internet has proven extremely difficult. It seems that at least part of the bridge between the two, and to keeping publications making money in the face of new technology, might consist of mobile devices like the iPad.

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Phil Hornshaw

Phil Hornshaw is a freelance writer, editor and author living in Los Angeles, dividing his time between playing video games, playing video games on his cell phone, and writing about playing video games. He’s also the co-author of So You Created a Wormhole: The Time Traveler’s Guide to Time Travel, which attempts to mix time travel pop culture with some semblance of science, as well as tips on the appropriate means of riding dinosaurs. Check out his profile.

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