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Remember when Wired’s debut issue for the iPad sold more than 100,000 times in June? It looks like it will be a while before that type of performance is seen again. Digital sales dropped toward the end of 2010 for all the magazines that make those figures available to the Audit Bureau of Circulations.
Many magazines that are available on the iPad, such as Esquire, People and The New Yorker, have not posted their digital single-issue sales to the ABC. But Vanity Fair sold 8,700 digital editions of its November issue, down from its average of about 10,500 for the August, September and October issues. Glamour sold 4,301 digital editions in September, but sales dropped 20 percent in October and then another 20 percent, to 2,775, in November. GQ’s November edition sold 11,000 times, which was its worst performance since April (when the iPad was released) and represents a slight decline from its average digital sales of 13,000 between May and October.
After Wired’s enormous debut month, the magazine averaged 31,000 digital sales between July and September, but even that fell in October and November, with sales coming in at 22,000 and 23,000, respectively. (For comparison, the magazine sold 130,000 total print editions for October and November.)
Men’s Health, which averaged digital sales of about 2,800 in the spring, sold 2,000 times in both September and October. All these magazines charge to buy issues on the iPad or iPhone. Publishers are hopeful their December and January numbers will bump back up after more consumers get their hands on digital devices during the holidays. Call it an early New Year’s wish.