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Principal in Next Steps Marketing

The Digital Market

By Thea Selby

About Thea

M. Thea Selby is a Principal in Next Steps Marketing, a San Francisco boutique firm that solves audience-building challenges in creative, customized way using practical "call-to-action" marketing techniques where the return is clearly measurable by clicks, online sign-ups, responses to direct mail, orders from partners, or sales at newsstand.

She was the 2010 Women's Leadership Conference Chair, is a co-founder and board member of Exceptional Women in Publishing—a national organization dedicated to supporting women in and through the power of online and print media—and is the former CEO and Publisher of Light Green Media, a digital publishing company.


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How many magazines are being sold on tablets?

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I’ve been away from the digital magazine world for a half year, and have just started to dive back in. What do I find? Distressingly little information about the digital magazine industry, a plethora of tablets with software all doing different things, and strategies that couldn’t be further apart for taking advantage of this nascent industry.

For those of you who find yourself in my situation, but with a bit less time to delve into these things, I will be presenting the facts as I uncover them in this and upcoming blogs.

In this blog: How many magazines are being sold on the tablets?

This seems like it would be an elementary question, one covered far and wide. But, my research tells me that this information does not exist out there in any accessible way. So, how did I compile it? Remember when you used to have to count on your fingers to figure out things? That’s basically what I did. I went to three different tablets, found digital magazines, and added them up.

Here’s what it looks like more or less today (counts were all made in January 2013)


Third Place: Nexus Google Play Magazine Store

Nexus sold 3 million tablets from July to October 2012. One of the newer tablets on the market, it comes in last place for number of magazines listed for sale at 446. Largest category: Sports! Nexus also has an app called “currents” where you can browse blogs with magazine names for free (more on that next week). There are 759 as of Jan. 11 in that bunch.

TOTAL : 446

  1. Sports    66
  2. Automotive    54
  3. Women's Lifestyle    52
  4. Entertainment    42
  5. Home & Garden    39
  6. Arts & Photography    32
  7. Science & Tech    30
  8. Crafts & Hobbies    23
  9. Health& Fitness    20
  10. Special Interest    19
  11. Food & Drink    15
  12. Business and Finance    12
  13. News& Politics    12
  14. Parenting & Family    12
  15. Men's Lifestyle    10
  16. Travel    8


Second Place: Amazon Kindle Magazines

Kindle of course came out first with an ereader in black and white only. The mini-computer color tablet was unveiled in September 2011. As of October 2012, there were 7 million Kindle Fires sold. Kindle has 744 magazines listed from their ebook selection, with the largest category, at 273, being Lifestyle and Culture.

TOTAL : 744

  1. Life Style & Culture    273
  2. Arts & Entertainments    167
  3. Sports    111
  4. News, Politics & Opinions    60
  5. Regional & Travel    45
  6. Business    42
  7. Internet & Technology    33
  8. Science    13

First Place: iPad Newsstand

Both the Kindle Fire and the Nexus 7 have a ways to go to catch up to the iPad, which has sold almost 100 million units globally since launching in April of 2010. (See accompanying graph)

In addition, Apple has an app specifically designed for magazines and newspapers called Apple Newsstand. So it should be no shock that they have the most magazines listed of any tablet device at 2,954 as of Jan. 4, 2013.

What’s their top category? Business & Investing, at 445 magazines. Not surprising, given corporations’ love affair with the iPad. Business Insider says more than 90 percent of Fortune 500 companies are reportedly testing or deploying them.

TOTAL: 2954

  1. Business & Investing    445
  2. Entertainment    438
  3. Fashion & Style    415
  4. Auto    265
  5. Health, Mind, & Body    234
  6. Computers & Internet    225
  7. Home & Garden    212
  8. Arts & Photography    188
  9. Crafts & Hobbies    176
  10. Cooking, Food, & Drink    135
  11. Children    70
  12. Electronics & Auto    67
  13. Brides    45
  14. History    39

Next week: What does this mean in terms of $ for these companies?


Companies Mentioned:



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