Curling Up With An App Edition of Your Favorite Magazine

Six months of magazines on the iPad…what do we know so far?

An Ad Age story looks at how some of our favorite magazines have fared and the ongoing debate about what those sales numbers mean. In addition, it touches on the difficulties around trying to understand the way digital products reach readers and the extent to which brand and advertisers get eyeballs.

The article examines numbers from Popular Science‘s iPad sales, which hit 12 percent of Popular Science‘s print newsstand sales, and Family Circle and Better Homes & Gardens, which is waiting on app editions until 2011.

Just going on edition sales, Men’s Health might look like it should be worried—it averaged 3,174 iPad edition sales across its April, May, June, and July/August issues, the story said. That’s less than 1 percent of its print rack business. But that too could also be a function of the number of print racks to iPads people can access.

People and Glamour is also seeing iPad sales of less than 1 percent of its single copy sales, and even GQ is only making 7 percent of issues’ print newsstand sales April to August, so there’s some confusion as to how to proceed. Speculation abounds about the subscription’s placement on the iPad and the way people want to consume content.

And while conversations about what men and women might want from the iPad version of a magazine may yet be inconclusive, they’re seen as part of a larger question about the next subscription era, which seems to be arriving one app at a time.