The Apple iPhone version of GQ's print edition seemed to be showing some traction, but as its latest download figures show, these are still early days when it comes to figuring out consumer adoption levels of digital magazines.
The Condé Nast magazine got some 6,700 downloads of its December digital issue, its first complete issue to go live on the iPhone. The January was downloaded more than 15,000 times. But February yielded just over 7,000 downloads.
Condé Nast execs acknowledged it would take some time to see where usage is heading, and noted that issues are still selling. They presented the numbers March 18 at Magazine Publishers of America’s 24/7 Digital Conference, which focused on the questions and opportunities facing magazines as they look to take advantage of forthcoming e-reading devices.
The better news is in how people used the GQ app. According to Condé Nast, users averaged 4.65 sessions over the course of a month. Users averaged 19 minutes per session and 89 minutes per issue overall, numbers the company has said are comparable to time spent with the print edition.
Users also are buying back issues, which are sold at $1.99 per copy (a buck off the regular price of $2.99), according to the company. The app is approved by the Audit Bureau of Circulations as a digital edition, enabling GQ to count the issues as part of the circ it guarantees to advertisers.
The GQ iPhone app is serving as a sort of runner-up for future e-reader and tablet devices. GQ is expected to launch on the much-anticipated Apple iPad tablet when the device is made available in April.