Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

iPad Magazine Readers to Publishers: More, Please

After an initial wave of excitement about iPad magazines, some publishers have dialed back their enthusiasm. But the readers who have actually downloaded them like them quite a bit.

So says a survey commissioned by a publishers’ trade group: It finds that two-thirds of people who read magazines on tablets and e-readers think they’ll be spending more time with digital issues over the next year. Many of them — 46 percent — are consuming more magazines — both in print and digital form — than they did before they got their hands on an iPad.* And 63 percent of them want more digital stuff to read.

Overall, the survey has generally sunny news for the magazine business, though it’s fair to wonder if the Association of Magazine Media would release a survey that had glum news.

The report does offer some guidance for the industry: 89 percent of readers want publishers to adopt a uniform way of navigating magazines, and 69 percent like watching in-app videos that run less than minute.

The other point worth noting about the report is that it exists, period. The survey, conducted earlier this month, was completed by 1,009 people “pre-screened for their ownership of mobile devices and their use of magazine-branded apps.” Up until now, pollsters couldn’t have been able to find enough respondents to make that kind of poll possible, says Chris Kevorkian, the trade group’s executive vice president for digital: “We’ve been wanting to do this research for some time, but didn’t have the critical mass to query.”

*The survey isn’t explicitly about iPad magazine editions — in theory, it covers all tablet magazine apps, as well as magazines consumed on e-readers like the Kindle and the Nook. But the majority of these things are being read on Apple’s device.

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