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Newsstand: Are You Reading More Magazines on iOS 5?



One of the new features in iOS 5 is the Newsstand. This new folder sits on your home screen, and brings your digital magazine and news subscriptions front and center. While not as sexy as the notification center or Siri, Newstand is helping publishers sell more subscriptions.

Conde Nast reports that subscriptions jumped 248% for publications like GQ and The New Yorker. Single issue purchases also climbed to 142% in the wake of iOS 5 and Newsstand.

Monica Ray, Executive marketing VP for Conde Nast, claims that by bringing the Newsstand front and center, Apple gave subscriptions “focused attention.

It’s not surprising to see that more users are purchasing magazine subscriptions on the iPad. As Ray notes, the Newsstand is out front, and cannot be removed.


Apple's Newsstand App

If you see Newsstand on your iPhone or iPad for the first time, Apple kindly tells you that, “You can download magazines and newspapers in the App Store.” Clicking this message takes you right into the App Store to make a purchase.

By putting the Newsstand in this location, Apple has raised awareness of subscriptions. Apple has also added background downloads, which is a huge deal.

I have been a subscriber to WIRED since they started taking iPad subscriptions, but too often I fell behind in reading because I never planned to download the new issue. The large downloads often took too long to download.

I was pleasantly surprised to see that the latest issue was downloaded the same day WIRED hit my mailbox (It was cheaper to get a paper and a digital subscription, than purchase through the app).

The only remaining issue I have with reading magazines in iOS 5, and with Newsstand, is that not every magazine can be read on the iPhone and iPad. Currently, WIRED is not available on the iPhone. While the screen is much smaller, I would still like the option to read some articles on the go.

Have you discovered digital magazine subscriptions on your iPhone or iPad for the first time? What do you think of the experience? Or, are you like me, and just enjoying the new background downloading?



  1. lexuk

    10/26/2011 at 8:11 am

    I don’t have an i-something, but do have a Galaxy Tab 10.1. Zinio is the magazine reader that I’m using and there’s a lot of subscriptions you can get. At the moment, I’ve tried about 4 different magazines to see what I think of the whole experience (good overall, though I don’t think there’s background downloading, and that’s annoying). My next step is likely to be converting my paper New Scientist sub to an electronic one. I haven’t tried reading the magazines on my phone, though I know it’s possible.

    Not sure how the ipad reading experience compares, though if it’s as good as the tab then it’s worth changing over.

  2. Nimve

    02/28/2012 at 11:21 pm

    Hi I was wondering if you have a subscription on your iPad should you have to pay for an additional subscription on the iPhone ?

  3. B Dell

    06/13/2012 at 9:17 pm

    I can’t stand it – I don’t want my content hidden in their ridiculous folder. My device – MY decision where I put stuff. I really resent having info that I had easily available hidden in a structure that makes no sense to me. Dropping subscriptions.

  4. Cam

    01/08/2013 at 5:33 am

    I was very excited about the many magazines, many of which are free, but after waiting hours to download a single magazine, I cant be bothered to even keep the programmes on my ipad.

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