Condé Nast continues its rollout of iPad magazine subscriptions with two marquee titles today, Wired and GQ. Both are now available monthly for $1.99 or yearly for $19.99, and existing print subscribers will be able to access the iPad editions for free.
Wired and GQ are the two latest iPad magazines from the publisher to make use of Apple’s in-app subscription service for App Store titles. The company has already introduced subscription-ready versions of Allure, Glamour, Golf Digest, Vanity Fair and The New Yorker.
Apple has support from most major magazine publishers for its in-app subscription system at this point, with the exception of Time, Inc., which has yet to sign on. Time, Inc. is among the dwindling minority who don’t seem eager to show support for Apple’s subscription terms ahead of June 30, when any magazine app not using the system will be turfed out of the App Store.
Wired was one of the most successful attempts at bringing traditional magazines to the iPad. The first few iPad editions did very well, thanks to its ability to move into the space early and with a solid product, with the help of Adobe. The first issue of Wired for the iPad sold 24,000 issues in 24 hours, and hit more than 100,000 downloads during its first month in June 2010. After that early success, however, purchases dropped steeply. Wired averaged only 31,000 downloads per month between July and September, and that dropped to around 23,000 in the following two months.
While the problem may yet lie mostly with the product, it’s obviously a factor that during that time, there was no way to subscribe to the magazine or pay less than the $4.99 per issue cover price. Thanks to Apple’s in-app subscription, the cost to consumers drops considerably, which should help bring those monthly download numbers up.