When the iPad launched, Apple’s tablet device, there was a lot of hype going around that the device would be the end-all of physical media as we knew it. Many were even saying that, for magazines to survive into the future, it would depend solely on the strength of the iPad’s shoulders. Some periodicals debut on the device were indeed impressive. Wired saw over 100,000 downloads of its first-ever iPad edition back in June. But, it doesn’t look like the trend has picked up, and some may even start saying that the longevity of the magazine has absolutely nothing to do with the iPad.
According to a new report from the Audit Bureau of Circulation, which watches over the circulation data of magazines from companies that are willing to release the numbers, all of them that have editions for the iPad have seen significant drop-offs in sales over the last few months. Wired, for example, was managing to pull down 31,000 downloads on average between July and September, but dropped to 22,000 in October. It did see a rise to 23,000 in November, though. Other periodicals saw drops, too, such as Men’s Health, which saw 2,800 downloads per month in the Spring, but saw only 2,000 downloads per month in September and October.
Vanity Fair slipped to only 8,700 downloads in November, versus the higher 10,500 downloads between August and October. Apparently, publishers are hoping that numbers pick back up with the holiday ramp up in hardware sales, but due to the lack of subscription support within the App Store, the outlook doesn’t seem to be that good.