Dropping Tablet Sales a Positive Sign for Print Magazines

[responsive]futuremag[/responsive]The shiny new technology was supposed to revolutionize the magazine industry. When Apple introduced the iPad in 2010, magazine apps were positioned as the “next big thing” and most publishers felt compelled to push out replica versions or reimagined titles via digital.

Tablets became ubiquitous. And the magazine revolution? Well, it didn’t exactly happen. Almost five year later, less than 4% of magazine readers access their titles via digital replica editions, according to Michael Rondon in Folio:.

And now, says Rondon, tablet growth is declining for the first time.

“Tablet shipments declined 3.2 percent in the fourth quarter, according to data collected by the International Data Corporation (IDC)—the first year-over-year decline since the market was established in 2010,” he writes.

Meanwhile, digital magazine sales remain in a slump and the advancements that could have been possible in digital magazines have dissolved into a rather sad state of affairs.

We don’t wish bad things for any company or product; we believe there is room at the table for all kinds of media and all types of content. Like anything in a fairly free market, the consumer is the final arbiter.

And the consumers have spoken. They purchased tablets in wild numbers, enough so that we’d expect to see digital magazine consumption soar. It hasn’t. Print is still the preferred channel for magazines. And the drop is tablet sales only strengthens the case for print.