Conde Nast recently revealed that it has sold 20,000 iPad-only subscriptions to the New Yorker, and that the magazine has 100,000 readers when you count its offline subscribers (who get access for free) and single-copy buyers.
That’s a lot of readers, and it’s generating the beginning of real money: nearly $1.2 million at the $59.95 annual subscription rate.
I was fortunate enough to hear Conde Nast’s Scott Dadich at AIGA Maine’s Abstract conference describe the thinking behind the interface his group developed for the magazine.
It was very simple; swipe across to go from story to story, swipe up and down to read through a story. It works great for the New Yorker, where the words do the work.
The iPad (and tablets generally) were hailed as the answer for traditional media trying to navigate the digital age profitably. Rupert Murdoch saw the potential immediately, and invested a lot in The Daily.
The Daily, however, was a lot of sizzle but not a lot of steak. Technology is alluring, and the people behind The Daily focused on that at the expense of developing a clear voice and a coherent presentation.
It may take a while for the reality to catch up to the hype, but tablets are fantastic media for magazines and newspapers, and the New Yorker is showing that it can work.