Maybe Si Newhouse won’t have to start licensing his magazine brand names’ to fashion lines after all: the results from the first sales of Condé Nast‘s digital applications are in, and they aren’t half bad.
GQ‘s “Man Of The Year” iPhone app has already made close to $20,000 since mid-November, and the entire January issue has been downloaded 12,000 times as of this writing. Considering that each issue/download goes for $2.99, that’s a promising amount of cash and a hint of the money to be made in digital downloads in the future.
Although, if you look at magazine applications as providing the same service as a full subscription (like the one you could buy on an e-reader), the question still remains if the consumers purchasing the product are the same people who would buy a physical GQ subscription anyway. In which case the company is actually losing money from their monthly newsstand costs. However, magazines never really survived on their newsstand sales anyway, relying mostly on advertising revenues, and it’s nice to see at least one revenue number on the rise.
“We threw a great idea at a new medium and it is sticking,” Condé Nast CEO Charles Townsend said.
Condé said they are now planning more content for the iPhone, and, although the single download price of a digital GQ will remain $2.99, repeat customers will be able to get it for $1.99, as “subscription offerings are being evaluated.”
Condé Nast is slowly but keenly tapping into the digital market, as evidenced by November’s launch of the late Gourmet magazine application. Condé’s actually found a way to isolate the market for the dead title’s new digital life. Now if only they could shutter all their magazines so people would have no choice but to by the application. Wait, what?
Press release after the jump.
CONDE NAST DIGITAL EDITIONS FIND SUCCESS OUT OF THE GATE
GQ iPhone Issue App Downloads Growing and Consumer Engagement is Exceptional
NEW YORK, January 21, 2010 — Conde Nast today filed the first sales results for the December GQ issue app via the Audit Bureau of Circulations’ (ABC) Rapid Report. Since debuting for $2.99 in mid November, GQ’s “Men of the Year” app was downloaded 6,641 times with each download counting towards the total circulation of the December issue. The January issue app has already been downloaded over 12,000 times to date, and consumer engagement metrics such as average time spent, number of reading days and satisfaction are on par with key measurements done by MRI for the magazine. Conde Nast was the first to develop and bring to market a complete digital magazine reader app for the iPhone and iPod touch measured by ABC.
“We believe that the development of our medium will be driven by technology, and are encouraged by how consumers are responding to our unique content in this new format, both in volume and engagement,” said Charles H. Townsend, President and CEO of Conde Nast. “We threw a great idea at a new medium and it is sticking.”
“It’s exciting that readers are embracing a new format so readily, and that it’s an easy embrace,” said Jim Nelson, Editor-In-Chief of GQ. “We felt confident that any reader who downloaded our app would enjoy the GQ experience, but what we’ve found is even more gratifying: a level of engagement where readers are fully immersed with our stories and our photography and spend good, and repeated, time with them.”
The February issue app went live (http://www.gq.com/downloadiphoneapp) January 19. The single issue app price of GQ will stay at $2.99, but repeat customers can purchase the app for $1.99 starting with the March issue, and subscription offerings are being evaluated. Advertisers can enhance their presence in the magazine with dynamic ads in the digital app version.
“We have seen the door opened to a different pool of readers through these new distribution channels,” noted Robert Sauerberg, Group President, Conde Nast Consumer Marketing. “The digital editions of our brands are on track to provide print-like engagement and we will use our continued learning to create the best business model for future introductions.”
In addition to developing more content for the iPhone and the anticipated tablet from Apple, Conde Nast has formed a strategic partnership with Adobe to collaborate on creating technologies that will allow the company to design and produce a new generation of digital magazines. Conde Nast has already seen success on the Kindle where The New Yorker is consistently the top selling magazine.