Early indications are that Apple’s new iOS features for publishers have had an immediate beneficial impact.
- Exact Editions, which says it made about 10 percent of the Newsstand app titles on iTunes Store, says downloads of freemium sample editions jumped by 14x in just a few days, whilst some titles’ actual sales have more than doubled.
- Consumer magazine publisher Future says free container apps for its titles were downloaded two million times in three days and reports “consumer spending well in excess of normal monthly revenues”. “Future has sold more digital editions in the past four days through Apple’s Newsstand than in a normal month,” says UK CEO Mark Wood.
Although Future’s numbers have rocketed, this does not represent the “750 percent increase” being cited in some reports, which do not compare like with like. That is because, until last week, most of Future’s digital editions were not actually available as apps, only through Zinio’s newsstand.
On the same day Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) launched Newsstand, Future also pushed some 55 of these editions outside Zinio to iTunes Store as individual iOS apps. In other words, for Future, this is the difference between Zinio and iTunes Store rather than between pre- and post-Newsstand.
Even so, Newsstand’s features (automatic edition downloading, a dedicated publications folder and a new section of iTunes Store) were absolutely part of Future’s strategy in doing so. And it is so far reaping rewards.
Impressive growth. Whether it’s more of a spike or can be maintained (at least plateau at a higher level) remains to be seen. Personally, I too have turned to digital versions of publications more and more since I bought a tablet.