Magazines Struggling on Apple iPad: Are we Surprised?

When Apple demoed the iPad to its corporate contacts in the publishing world, they were thrilled. Unlike e-book readers before it, the Apple  iPad had a large LCD screen, capable of displaying a book or magazine in glorious color.

Many publishers jumped at the opportunity to make apps for the platform and sell content via app updates. Unfortunately they have found that despite there now being well over 1 million iPads in the wild, owners appear to have relatively little interest in reading magazines, thus far.

Gentleman’s Quarterly, one of the most popular men’s fashion and health magazines, debuted an app in the iTunes App Store some time ago, priced at $2.99. The app came with one free issue of the magazine and offered future issues priced at $1.99.

According to GQ VP/Publisher Pete Hunsinger, in an interview with MinOnline, the app has only sold 365 copies (for a total of $1,091.35 in sales) on the iPad. Still Hunsinger remains optimistic, insisting that the iPad app costs his company “nothing”. He comments, “This costs us nothing extra: no printing or postage. Everything is profit, and I look forward to the time when iPad issue sales become a major component to our circulation.”

The first issue was a reprint of the December 2009 “Best Dressed Men” issue and featured Jake Gyllenhaal staring out from the cover. GQ hopes that the June issue which features the sultry Miranda Kerr (Victoria’s Secret Model and Orlando Bloom’s girlfriend) on the cover will do slightly better.

GQ publisher Condé Nast is unfazed by the poor sales and will also soon be debuting Glamour, The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, and Wired magazines on the iPad.

Check out our Apple iPad Review

Video: Apple iPad versus Amazon Kindle

Editors' Recommendations