IDG’s Macworld and PCWorld magazines have had digital editions for years but they’re just starting to realise the potential of the platform, thanks to the iPad.
While Macworld and PCWorld averaged 600 monthly downloads combined for their digital editions, the iPad versions are generating 8,000 monthly downloads combined and a Macworld special edition about the launch of the iPad has generated about 90,000 downloads, and growing, over the last three months. The Macworld and PCWorld digital editions (including iPad app) are supported on the Zinio UNITY platform.
“Digital editions were an idea waiting for a platform,” said Jason Brightman, director of Web design with PCWorld and Macworld, at a FOLIO: Webinar called “State of the Art in Digital Magazines.” “The iPad is great for magazines and eliminates many of the problems the Kindle had. The Kindle is not good for magazine layout. People could also read our digital editions on the computer screen or on mobile phones but that wasn’t a great experience either. With ‘swiping,’ the iPad can replicate that tactile experience you have holding a magazine.”
The success of the iPad version is not hurting traffic to PCWorld.com or Macworld.com, either. “PCWorld and Macworld are making half of their revenue from the Web sites and we haven’t seen any drop from the digital editions,” said Brightman. “We bundle our digital editions with the print magazine, so all revenue and downloads count against the magazine bottom line and are separate from the Web sites, we have seen huge numbers of print subscribers asking to change their subscription to digital.”