Can Digital Editions Be Sexy?
If there's any overall message in the recent data about the iPad, it's this: It's tough to overstate the impact of the tablet.
Consider what Josh Quittner, then-director of editorial development at Time Inc., had to report at the Woodwing Xperience conference in Amsterdam in May. Just less than a year since its release, Apple had sold 15 million iPads, amounting to $9.5 billion in revenue from the device. Analysts predict 50.4 million devices will be shipped by 2012.
Since the iPad was introduced, Time Inc. has conducted one-on-one and focus group research, in-app surveys and owner studies through the Time Inc. Innovation Panel—an online research community for tech-savvy users of Time Inc. products. According to Quittner, in a March 2011 company survey, the iPad beat television among all respondents asked to rank the most important devices they own. (This is driven by women, who rank the iPad above computers and television, second only to smartphones in importance. Men still rank the tablet behind the other three). It is used mostly at home for personal business (74 percent of the time) and shared with others in the household. It's even used while watching TV.
Tablets, in other words, appear to be fulfilling their promise as a "lean-back" consumption device, a way to engage with content enjoyed casually, the way people have always interacted with books and magazines.
Such massive success has, of course, been a boon for Apple's iTunes store, which, according to AppleInsider.com, generated $1.4 billion in revenue in the first three months of the year. App Store downloads reached 15 billion, Apple announced in July—a month after the company publicly reported 14 billion downloads. The Android market's growth is nothing to sneeze at either, a Guardian article reports, with 1 million apps downloaded in 60 days.