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Magazine publisher Future hits jackpot in move to tablets

by David Needle

January 25 2012

Apple's Newsstand for the iPad has attracted a number of magazine publishers.
Apple's Newsstand for the iPad has attracted a number of magazine publishers.

Apparently the “death of print” doesn’t mean the death of the magazines. On the contrary, some traditional print magazine publishers have introduced tablet editions with sterling results.

Adding Apple’s iTunes Newsstand as a new source of distribution is paying off for Future, a U.K. publisher of various specialty magazines. The company says it’s gained $1 million in new tablet magazine revenue a month after 65 of its titles debuted on Newsstand.

The results were detailed by the company’s tablet editor-in-chief Mike Goldsmith in a story by 

Newsstand is also helping Future squeeze revenue from older, print magazine content. “Back issues have been rejuvenated,” Goldsmith said. “We uploaded 90 back issues in to our containers on December 20 and made a high, four-figure sum in terms of profit back from that.” 

Other notable Newsstand bullet points from Goldsmith, who spoke at the U.K. Association of Online Publishers’ tablet publishing forum in London this week, include: 

  • 75,000 subscriptions gained
  • 40 percent of orders are for subscriptions
  • 9.3 million free container apps downloads
  • 8.5 million free issues
  • 4.3 million opt-ins for push messages

Goldsmith conceded adding Newsstand distribution was necessary because the company’s print circulation is declining “The genie is out of the bottle, so we need to embrace it [digital publishing]”, he said. 

In addition to Apple's Newsstand, a number of companies, led by Flipboard, have helped re-imagine how magazines should be presented on tablets, specifically the iPad in the case of Flipboard.  

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