Could iOS 5 save magazines?

The launch of iOS 5 earlier this month for Apple's iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch devices included a new Newsstand feature that allows for easy purchase of digital magazines. Now it seems like the feature is having a positive effect. Conde Nast announced today that since the launch of iOS and Newsstand, it has seen subscriptions of its nine digital magazines jump 268 percent.  The company also claimed it say single issue sales go up 142 percent.

Conde Nast didn't say how many subscriptions or sales of its digital magazines it was selling before Newsstand launched but the percentage numbers are certainly impressive. It also shows that at least some people are interested in paying for downloadable magazines.

For the past few years we have been told that print magazines, along with newspapers, would soon go the way of the dodo. Yet there is something about a magazine format that is still attractive to some readers. Let's face it; web site design leave much to be desired in terms of aesthetics. Of course, part of the reason for this is that web site also have be designed to load as quickly as possible in a web browser.

But as we have seen with the success of Amazon's Kindle eReader, the print world doesn't have to disappear. It can transition over to the digital world and still keep most of the features that readers enjoy and perhaps add some new interactive features. Just as Apple changed the music and phone worlds, perhaps it can lend a hand to save the magazine industry as well.

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