Apple created a huge problem for magazine publishers trying to move into the iPad electronic magazine market. One of the big problems was the lack of a subscription mechanism. Many magazine publishers created their own problem by pricing their e-magazines priced higher than their paper ones. The price alone caused many of the iPad magazines to received low customer ratings. Popular Science was one of the few that provided what consumers perceived as a fairer price for their iPad magazines. So, how are they doing now that they can offer a subscription and have done so with an iPad subscription price that is not too much higher than their paper subscription price ($14.99 vs. $12.99)? AdAge provides some numbers for us to try to answer that question.
Popular Science iPad Edition Has Sold 10,000 Subscriptions
– Popular Science iPad magazines sold about 10,000 to 12,000 copies per month prior to the subscription
– There are currently about 10,000 annual subscribers
– Approximately 2,500 individual copies of the iPad March edition were sold
– In 2010, Popular Science had 1,200,000 print subscriptions
– In the second half of 2010, Popular Science had a verified circulation of 1,300,000
Popular Science does not appear to be an impulse “magazine rack” purchase in either paper or iPad e-formats based on the numbers above. So, are 10,000 initial subscribers good or bad? Based on the assumption (which cannot be verified through Apple) a significant number of the subscribers came from the pre-subscription inidivual issue buyers, it looks like a good start.