Does the iPad offer a new lease of life for glossy magazines? The latest sales statistics suggest that the early promise was only a flash in the pan.
The debut issue of Wired magazine for the iPad sold more than 100,000 "copies" in June 2010 and encouraged other magazine publishers to produce digital editions. But for all the titles that have posted their sales figures to the Audit Bureau of Circulations there is a very definite trend - plummeting downwards.
After it's promising start Wired averaged 31,000 digital sales in the July-September quarter and sales continued to fall - October 22,000; November 23,000.
Other magazines echoed the trend. For example, Vanity Fair's sold 8,700 digital editions in November compared to an average of 10,500 for the previous 3 months.
From the consumer's point of view there seem to be two main issues. One is that readers want subscriptions that offer big discounts on the single issue price. The other is user experience - the app technology is seen as too buggy and too ad-intrusive.