Magazines on the iPad

For New Yorker on iPad, Words Are the Thing – NYTimes

The New Yorker magazine takes a lot of heat for using Adobe’s iPad publishing tool. It outputs files with large footprints, unselectable copy, and little support for native iPad features, like pinch and zoom. Their numbers show though, that in the end, the bells and whistles matter much less than you may think.

Offering the first detailed glimpse into iPad magazine sales since subscriptions became available in the spring, The New Yorker said that it now had 100,000 iPad readers, including about 20,000 people who bought subscriptions at $59.99 a year.

The New Yorker, a magazine that has always been heavy on text, took a different tack from its peers. Instead of loading its iPad app with interactive features, the magazine focused on presenting its articles in a clean, readable format.

And then there’s the ability for print subscribers to download any issue on the iPad. This is the direction all print publications need to head.

…More than 75,000 people have taken advantage of the magazine’s offer to allow print subscribers to download the app free.

Give me great content and a usable delivery platform and I’ll give you my money. Plain and simple.

And from an interview with David Remnick in November 2010:

He said there are vast possibilities for interactive reading that will appear on the New Yorker’s iPad, but those will come when he establishes a proper subscription model so that there is a critical mass of people consuming the materal;

You can’t force a new medium. Take Wired magazine for example, also owned by New Yorker parents, Conde-Nast; their content has consistently declined while they’ve revamped layout and interactivity in both their print and iPad versions.