While the iPad has only been around for just over a year, and Apple only introduced a subscription sales model in February, there is positive data suggesting that a large proportion of mag app users are willing to share contact information with magazine publishers -- overcoming a major obstacle to marketing magazine subscriptions for the device.
That's according to a new survey from digital publishing vendor Yudu Media, following reader usage of 80 branded apps produced by Yudu, including Reader's Digest UK, NewsMax and Runway magazine. Yudu found that 41.5% of people who download a magazine app choose to provide opt-in data, which allows publishers to market subscriptions more effectively. That's a higher figure than those who provide opt-in info for catalogs, at 37.5%, and brochures, at 38.7%.
These findings hold out promise for digital subscription sales, which depend on high reader opt-in rates on the iPad. In February, Apple unveiled a digital subscription model that relaxed its previous prohibition on disclosing consumer information to publishing partners by agreeing to share the name, email address and ZIP code of those who subscribe to digital content -- provided that customers consent.
In terms of overall interaction, Yudu found that 64% of people who download a magazine app return to that app at some point, with an average return rate of 3.7 per user download. About one-third of all magazine app downloads are actually software updates, suggesting a high degree of continuing reader engagement. The number of people buying subscriptions within magazine apps increased sharply in the first three months of 2011, following the unveiling of Apple's subscription sales model.
The encouraging Yudu findings come as major publishers rush to introduce subscription sales for digital editions of their magazines on the iPad and other tablet computers.
Last week, Conde Nast was first in the pool with sub sales for the digital edition of The New Yorker, and subs for other titles including Glamour, Vogue and Vanity Fair. Hearst Corp. is scheduled to debut its first subs for the July editions of Esquire, Popular Mechanics and O, The Oprah Magazine in June.
Apple also struck a deal with Time Inc. that allows the publisher to deliver free digital editions to iPad owners who already subscribe to print magazines. The deal will make digital editions of Time, Fortune and Sports Illustrated available. Earlier, Apple and Time struck a similar deal for People.