Condé Nast Announces 3.8 Million Magazine Downloads on iPad
Condé Nast, the magazine publisher whose brands include WIRED, Vanity Fair and VOGUE, announced this week that downloads of their magazine applications have exceeded 3.8 million since the company’s conception on the App Store a number of months ago. After more than 5000 in-app surveys and 100 hours of one-to-one interviews, the concluding report revealed a number of impressive figures and some unexpected feedback to go with it.
The growth of magazines and e-papers since the iPad’s launch in May 2010 has been significant, with advertisers and content-creators providing newer, more interactive ways of delivering news and views to a user. However, the Condé Nast report revealed that those who participated in the survey often found interactive ads confusing, requiring guides to make full use of it. Equally, developers’ new navigation techniques are not as simple to the consumers as they had hoped. Despite this, the figures tell a contrarian tale, with 89% saying they found e-magazines easy to use.
In addition, the revolution of digital magazines has resulted in average readers spending 160 minutes per month on e-magazines in comparison to the 45 minutes that print-readers enjoyed. Why is this the case? Scott McDonald of Condé Nast said that reading-based applications are a “lean back activity” – something that users do to relax. Physical papers have to be bought and kept on person or nearby, and are often thrown out, resulting in much less consumer surplus. In contrast, with the iPad’s ease of use through one-tap payments and having entire web at your fingertips, it is a much easier – and often faster – process to buy and read a magazine. A magazine’s re-use and replay value is much higher when in digital format. Even though the report revealed that most users left their iPad at home rather than taking it out, this only adds to it serving as a relaxation device: keeping work and play separate makes play seem a whole lot more enjoyable.
A staggering 83% of those who bought last month’s issue of a magazine said that they would buy a new edition whenever it is released, providing businesses with the wisdom that keeping existing customers is just as important as acquiring new ones. The report also advised to avoid reusing ads and creative content, noting that something “new” was much more exciting to consumers. Seeing the same ad a hundred times over (for example, Hublot in the Financial Times) might drive in the message, but it could also drive down future sales if content isn’t everything. And in today’s digital age, if there’s one thing that we’ve learnt, it’s exactly that.