David Carey, president of Hearst Magazines, sat down with AllThingsD's Peter Kafka to kick off Day 2 of D:Dive Into Media here in Dana Point, California, with the interview centering on Carey's take on how digital magazines are working out in a world that seems less and less intrigued by physical books. Carey confirmed that 40 percent of its total unique views [on magazine websites] are mobile, with the majority of those coming from smartphones, and presently, it has around 900,000 paid magazine subscribers (on the digital front) here in America. That's around 100,000 short of the company's goal to hit a million by the end of 2012, but it's now gunning to secure 3 million paid subscribers by 2016.
Moving on to the topic of Apple, Carey noted that Steve Jobs doesn't get nearly the credit he deserves for accomplishing one thing in particular -- "teaching consumers how to buy digital content." He continued: "It used to be something that people would steal, but if you make it easy for them, they'll buy it. More than 70 percent [of Hearst's customers] renew because it's easy. On the traditional side, the most frustrating thing is how difficult it is to get people to resubscribe through mailers."