iPad magazines just keep growing but women prefer smaller tablets: Hearst president

by Doug Drinkwater

February 14 2013

Hearst Magazines president David Carey says men and women are split when it comes to reading on 10-inch and 7-inch tablets
Hearst Magazines president David Carey says men and women are split when it comes to reading on 10-inch and 7-inch tablets

Hearst Magazines president David Carey says that the iPad remain the dominant platform for tablet magazines, but suggests men and women are different when it comes to screen sizes.

Speaking at Dive Into Media conference, Carey illustrated the sheer rise of mobile devices by saying that 40% of total unique views on Hearst magazine websites now come from smartphones and tablets.

The Hearst president added that the company now has around 900,000 paid digital magazine subscribers, but said that it expects that figure to top 3 million by 2016.

Carey praised the late Apple CEO Steve Jobs for “teaching consumers how to buy digital content” and while he unsurprisingly apportioned part of the rise of mobile devices down to the iPad, he also had some promising news for vendors with 7-inch tablets.

 “The iPad is the dominant player, because the volume is there.

“What Barnes & Noble and Amazon figured out early was the 7-inch screen. Our men's products did well on the 10-inch iPad, but our women's products did not. But, they did really well on the 7-inch units -- something that you can easily slip into your purse. We saw the 7-inch devices having more traction with women, while the larger 10-inch devices had more traction with men.

“We're really happy that Apple introduced the iPad mini, and we're awaiting the most recent numbers on how our publications are doing on that."

Hearst’s forward-thinking strategy when it comes to tablets (the company has now started offering tablet editions before the print versions become available) has clearly already paid dividends with Carey confirming that models like the iPad have helped women’s magazine Cosmopolitan to rack up 160,000 digital subscribers.

Despite this, Carey remains adamant that this is just the start for magazines on mobile devices.

"We and everyone else are in a period of huge experimentation on mobile,” he said.

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