Magazine sales on the iPad were always going to be a unknown quantity but things looked bright when Wired’s first issue sold over 100,000 copies last June. This lead to a slew of high-end magazines offering their content on the iPad but figures now show that owners of Apple's tablet may have stopped buying digital magazines.
Audit Bureau of Circulation (ABC) figures show that Wired’s sales have dropped dramatically from over 100,000 in June to under 25,000 in October and November. And Wired isn’t alone with magazines such as Glamour, GQ and Vanity Fair also showing dramatic drops in sales. The ABC figures however are not a complete picture because some of the publishers do not reveal their sales figures for their digital editions.
Magazines such as Esquire, People and The New Yorker do not reveal how many downloads were made of their magazines however the trend would seem to suggest an overall fall in sales. Publishers will be hoping the slew of new tablet devices to be unveiled next week at CES 2011, will see an audience growth for these online magazines.
In November Apple’s Steve Jobs and media mogul Rupert Murdoch announced the iPad-only newspaper titled The Daily, which will have “a tabloid sensibility with a broadsheet intelligence." Also Virgin boss Richard Branson announced an iPad-only magazine entitled Project at the start of this month, which would indicate that many people believe there will be a future for these digital editions.