iPad magazines have already lost their luster?

“Digital sales dropped toward the end of 2010 for all the magazines that make those figures available to the Audit Bureau of Circulations,” says a recent report in Women’s Wear Daily. Among the titles losing their digital luster: Vanity Fair, Glamour, GQ, Men’s Health, and Wired.

Why the sudden drop in sales? PC Magazine says the main problem is the lack of a workable subscription model. MSNBC’s Technolog suggests that magazines need their own dedicated category in the App Store. And while we don’t know the sales figures for NGM’s iPad app, we have a hunch they’re nothing to brag about — especially if the following online review by “JimFeet” is a fair barometer of what most people are thinking:

via iTunes

After using the Wired magazine app I downloaded the Nat Geo apps with enthusiasm – waste of time. Both the Traveller and the Nat Geo mag apps are little more than online versions of the magazine – including splitting up photo spreads that span two or more pages into their equivalent multi-screens. This means that while you can view the entire image if you have the actual magazine open in front of you, you have to flip between screens in the app and try to visualize them assembled in your head.

AND, as for the claim of “interactive”, not so much. The only interactivity I found was a less than 1 minute video that can be played from the “cover” screen. Hardly interactive in my estimation.

Lastly, this app offers a VERY small sample of the magazine. You must register and subscribe to get the full edition. I have no problem subscribing but I couldn’t find any description of what it would cost without first registering.

Nat Geo would do well to subscribe to Wired. They might learn something.

Hey, David Griffin — any thoughts?

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