Figures compiled by Bloomberg, however, show that only 4% of overall magazine circulation is made up of app subscribers, with the majority of readers still opting for a traditional, physical magazine instead. And although the growth of magazine apps has continued to grow since launching, this growth has slowed down in the past 18 months.
Magazine apps are struggling, according to statistics
Hoping to revitalise the magazine app world is Magzter, who have just launched a new Netflix-style newsstand service, which allows users to pay a monthly subscription and in turn have unlimited access to 2,000 online versions of magazines. Magzter has existed for a while, but as a pay-to-read service designed for purchasing individual titles. The new Magzter Gold package, though, grants users access to huge number of magazines across iOS, Windows, Amazon and Android apps for a flat monthly fee.
Magzter will look to provide competition for Next Issue Media, who launched back in 2011 with a much more limited range of magazines – about 140 – but with a similar pay-per-month/all-you-can-read setup. Next Issue have just secured a lucrative $50 million investment from private equity firm KKR for their first big marketing push, so the arrival of Magzter Gold could create an interesting battle for the digital magazine market.
Of course, these kinds of services have a long way to go before they’re able to reach the levels of Netflix and Spotify, who boast 50 million and 12.5 million users respectively. But with heavy investment in Next Issue and healthy competition to be provided by Magzter, could 2015 be the year that kick starts the magazine migration from paper to pocket, or will readers still opt for a physical copy of their favourite publication?