Newsstand was one of the major features of iOS 5, which essentially organizes your magazine and newspaper app subscriptions in one place to access them easily and quickly.
Many believed that giving publications like magazines and newspapers a big push by Apple (in exchange for signing onto their subscription program) would really help boost sales. Others argued that getting those apps off of the home screen would hinder things.
AllThingsD mentions that while many reports claimed success, most used percentages and few showed real numbers. Now, with the help of data from the tablet-publishing software company Mag+, they’ve got some hard numbers. The following graph shows subscription sales of Popular Science magazine on a week-by-week basis.
As you can see, the second week of October (which was when iOS 5 was released) showed a pretty sizable jump in sales – 13% to be precise. But, the real story is in the curve above that point: you can see that the rate of subscription sales itself had increased.
And as Mag+ CEO Staffan Ekholm points out, the really promising indicator for Pop Sci isn’t the one-week sales leap of 13 percent — it’s that the the magazine’s growth picked up after that week, with more velocity.
Before the debut of Newsstand in iOS 5, Popular Science averaged about 700 subscriptions a week, and afterwards that number jumped to almost double that value. As AllThingsD points out, Popular Science is a publication that’s fairly popular with the iTunes customer demographic, but it’s still nice to see real numbers instead of percentage growth.
Apple’s introduction of Newsstand was a way for iTunes users to keep track of various magazine subscriptions and purchase new ones without losing the ability to view covers or purchase individual issues. It also allows background updating of content. Amazon recently also updated the Kindle App for iOS to give access to their wide selection of magazine subscriptions.