updated 05:45 pm EDT, Tue September 27, 2011
Hearst gets 300,000 paid iPad, tablet mags a month
Hearst on Tuesday said it had passed getting 300,000 paid mobile magazine downloads per month. The growth is a rapid acceleration from past months and comes purely from those buying through an iPad, Nook Color, or the Zinio Reader app on multiple platforms. It didn't say how many of these were subscriptions versus single-issue sales.
The company also hinted that its distribution was about to reach the Amazon Kindle Fire tablet, which Hearst president David Carey hinted at through mention of a "fourth distribution platform" that would be unveiled on Wednesday, the same day as Amazon's media event.
Pure digital sales still trail significantly behind paper, where O magazine alone trades 2.5 million paper issues per month. The success is nonetheless enough to make the tablet business viable; unofficial sources put the annual revenue at $4.5 million to 6 million, or enough to offset production costs. It also comes in spite of limited distribution, where only three of Hearst's magazines are available as native apps on the iPad, often considered the most successful platform for tablet magazines.
Amazon is being watched carefully for its own potential movement. Although it hasn't had much success with magazines on e-paper Kindle readers, Amazon's reputation as the leader in e-books could lead it to get distribution that hasn't been feasible for Apple, Barnes & Noble, and others that have considerably smaller market share. [via AllThingsD]