Wired has just proved paid content via standalone applications on the iPad in one fell swoop, selling a shocking 24,000 copies of its new application in 24 hours. That works out to nearly 17 per minute the entire first day of its release.
While a free application might be able to match those numbers sans perspiration, the Wired app weighs in at $4.99. That is a heftier than usual price tag for a content application in the mobile space. Many newspapers and periodicals are placing their content into applications which they then release free of charge.
Initial estimates of sales for the Wired iPad version were completely off the mark, with one rather public estimate guessing first day sales of a paltry 3,000 units. Whatever the reason for the initially low estimates, they have been proven wrong.
Why has the Wired app performed so well thus far? The company put significant effort into its development, melding the enjoyment of a physical magazine with the iPad’s simple touch mechanics. I can honestly say, playing with the app on my iPad, that it is indeed the first reading experience from paper to screen where the digital version exceeds the traditional one.
But with that high $5 price tag, the staying power of app is in question. The first people to purchase iPads have been the tech oriented, and thus it is to be expected perhaps that the Wired app would perform well in that demographic. As the iPad becomes increasingly mass market, whether the application has legs under its sales momentum remains to be seen.
Then again, at 17 copies a minute, the app brought in over $5,000 an hour to Wired. That alone must make the bean counters smile.
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