Hearst Magazines prez: Apple’s iPad ‘a pretty efficient distribution for us to be honest’

“Hearst Magazines expects to reach one million digital subscriptions by the end of next year as more people sign up to read titles on tablet computers, the company’s president told Reuters on Wednesday,” Jennifer Saba and Lisa Richwine report for Reuters. “‘We do expect in 2012 at some point to be able to have more than a million on e-subscriptions,’ Hearst Magazine President David Carey said. The division now has about 400,000 digital subscribers to Cosmopolitan, Esquire and its other titles.”

“Hearst makes the digital titles of its 19 magazines available on several tablet computers, including Barnes and Noble’s Nook, which commands the largest percentage of its digital subs, Amazon’s Kindle Fire, and Apple’s iPad. The digital magazines are priced at $1.99 for a monthly subscription,” Saba and Richwine report. “Carey said tablet providers take roughly a 35 percent cut of subscription revenue, meaning Hearst gets to keep 65 percent. For traditional print newsstand sales, publishers typically keep 55 cents on the dollar.”

Saba and Richwine report, “Earlier this year, many publishers balked at what they considered Apple’s onerous terms for subscriptions generated through its App Store. Not only do publishers have to share revenue, but they also have to give up ownership of valuable subscriber data used to sell advertising if a consumer goes through the App Store to purchase a magazine subscription. Apple lets consumers opt to share their personal data, and Carey said that 60 percent to 65 percent of iPad subscribers choose to share their personal data with Hearst, which he conceded was a higher amount than expected… ‘It’s a pretty efficient distribution for us to be honest,’ he added.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Honesty in the magazine publishing biz? What’s this world coming to?

Related articles:
iPad magazine readers to publishers: More, please – November 21, 2011
Apple iOS 5′s Newsstand boosts Future Publishing’s sales by 750% – October 18, 2011
New Yorker iPad app hits 100,000 readers, begins to define a genre – August 3, 2011


  1. If publishers will earn trust of their readers by not selling them out further to advertisers to be abused with “in-your-throat” spam and privacy-breaking “highly-focused offers”, then very many of these readers would agree to share their electronic mail and possibly even more information.

    But requiring that all that information should be forwarded to them by default, these publishers were incredibly arrogant and outrageous. Jobs was right not to cede to this.

  2. Interesting bit of info is the fact that the largest share in digital magazine subscriptions goes (currently) to B&N’s Nook. The device is essentially same as Kindle (small, underpowered, heavily customised and feature-limited Android tablet, sold as an e-reader); not Kindle, not even iPad. This sounds like a very serious aberration.

    1. While it is somewhat curious, I am not one to subscribe to magazines, so my iPad gets tons of use… just not for reading magazines. If I was a heavy reader in that manner, I might have considered a Nook or Kindle, but I wanted a full-function tablet (i.e. iPad or, er…., well yeah an iPad). A friend of mine balked at getting an iPad but wanted an e-reader for reading only (Wh-wh-wh-WHAT?!?) But those people exist.

          1. I don’t disagree with you. I enjoy reading books on my iPad. But his friend balked at buying an iPad, probably on cost grounds, and the Nook Tablet to me looks like the next best alternative for a pure ebook reader that can be had for half the price.

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