Hearst says it is on track to reach one million paying subscribers to its digital editions in 2012, fuelled by the rise in people paying for content on tablets.
The details above were shared by David Carey, president of Hearst in the sourced paid content.org article.
Is this really something to be proud of? Growth is always good, but if these are the numbers of one the biggest magazine publishers on the planet are posting — clearly the current digital business model has an uphill battle.
That million paying digital subscribers figure apparently covers all platforms including Android and iOS. UBS analyst Maynard Um has predicted conservative sales to top 28 million for the iPad and 52 million for the iPhone in 2011 alone. Gaining a foothold on only 1.25% of all eligible devices sold by Apple in 2011 doesn’t seem to indicate that current digital mag solutions are a ringing success. It’s not even worth adding on Android goliath numbers.
Big publishing better hope that quoted 10 to 15% monthly growth rate keeps up, or start looking for a different solution.