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iPad magazine sales numbers show steep decline over a few short months

Laura June Dziuban
December 29, 2010
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Uh oh. Since its debut, the iPad has been variously hailed as the final nail in the coffin of all physical media and the savior of the magazine and newspaper industries. A few magazines, such as Wired, had truly impressive digital launches, with over 100,000 downloads of its first issue in June. It doesn't seem, however, that the stellar start was in any way sustainable. According to the Audit Bureau of Circulations, which collects magazine circulation data from companies willing to furnish numbers, all iPad magazines have seen fall offs in downloads over the past few months. Wired was averaging 31,000 downloads from July through September, had 22,000 and 23,000 respectively in October and November. Other magazines have seen similar declines: Vanity Fair sold 8,700 downloads of its November issue, down from an average of about 10,500 from August through October; GQ sold 11,000 copies, its worst showing yet. Now, not all magazines release their numbers, of course -- including The New Yorker, People, and Esquire -- but the numbers we do have seem to be indicating a trend of general decline after a short burst of excitement.

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