Stop the presses! No, wait, don’t! The iPad isn’t quite the saviour of journalism as it was excitedly touted by the cynical in Apple’s deep pockets – magazine sales are dropping and dropping. Could it be that the public is weaning itself from the thrilling buzz and novelty of a thin rectangle that works whichever way you hold it?
It verily could according to this article by WWD.com. Statistics from the Audit Bureau of Circulations reveal that by the end of 2010 – which is just two days away now – magazine sales on the iPad were seriously drooping.
All the popular titles you could want are available on Steve Jobs’ expensive but ultimately pointless luxury item – one of the first was Wired which managed 100,000 sales in its June debut. Its July to September period was lukewarm and lacklustre with only 31,000 punts. Even worse was October and November where it only tallied 22,000 and 23,000 sales respectively.
As mogul Murdoch readies his ageing paw for a New Year handshake with a joint Jobsian news venture, the figures are not enticing. Then again naysayers to the naysaying will say that at least the sales are pure profits as it’s easy to knock out a digital edition or two.
Some more digital magazine figures from WWD: Vanity Fair was down from its 10,500 August average to 8,700 in November while advocate of expensive tat Gentleman’s Quarterly grabbed 11,000 sales in November, its worst performance since its first issue. Its average between May and October were 13,000.
Still it is early daze, and it could be argued by those glass half full kind of people that the tablet is yet to pick up. The ball has started rolling and all these electronics manufacturers certainly want a tablet computer in every household.
Publishers are no doubt hoping the Christmas tidal wave of consumer electronics will help digital magazine sales pick up the pace, but so far, perhaps, maybe, people are clocking on that for those websites without a paywall it’s cheaper and fairly similar to simply head online.