Sometimes it helps to be the oldest guy on the block. The New Yorker is Conde Nast's best selling iPad app, The New York Times reports. Boasting 95,000 subscriptions, the 86 year old magazine is beating other Conde Nast properties like Vanity Fair, Wired, GQ, Glamour, and Vogue in sales. 75,000 of the subscriptions are print subscribers given the option of an iPad subscription. The other 20,000 are new subscribers who paid $59.99 for a subscription from the iTunes store. "Several thousand" people, on average, also buy the digital magazine for $4.99 a week. All told, the magazine is taking in more than a million dollars through their digital sales.
The magazine has been hesitant to embrace the web. The Internet is a dangerous place for journalism. The New Yorker, "still leaves much of its content on NewYorker.com behind a pay wall," points out The Times article, which is behind a paywall. The magazine's app strategy has been focused on subscription sales, instead of finding conventional financial support from advertising.
The success of the app is attributed to making it as simple as possible. The magazine relied on its belief that people wanted to read the magazine on a tablet, and not watch, listen or interact with it. “There are some bells and whistles, but we’re very careful about that. We think about whether or not they add any value. And if they don’t, out the window they go," said deputy editor Pamela Maffei McCarthy. The "clean, readable format" has been a success.