“Branded Reader Apps”- iPad and iPhone Apps that house
publications such as magazines, catalogs and brochures, as well as
other content such as video. Users download the App and can then
access and read the publications within it.
YUDU media are web, mobile and tablet ePublishing specialists who have been
serving digital publishing solutions to publishers, retailers and brand owners
since 2003. With customers in over 70 countries, producing up to 1,200 digital
publications a day and having developed almost 100 iPad and iPhone Apps,
they have exclusive access to statistics that shed some light on the success of
reader apps and the habits of their users.
The YUDU report draws on analysis of real digital publishing statistics taken
across the spectrum of 80 YUDU customer’s iPad and iPhone Apps
(and content within the Apps). It focuses on live iPad App usage, offering rare
insight into the habits of consumers downloading and using Branded Reader
Apps for the iPad and iPhone.
In the interest of providing a useful resource for a broad audience across
many different sectors, the results were taken from several types of app with
readable content - e.g magazine apps, catalog apps and brochure apps. Where
possible, these sub-categories will be examined independently from each
other. When a more broad observation is appropriate across these types, they
are collectively referred to as‘branded reader apps’. For simplicity, the app
owner will be referred to as the‘publisher’in all cases.
Almost 40% of People who
Download a Reader App Supply
After downloading a branded reader app, an average of almost 40 percent of
users register their details when given the option. The information supplied via
data capture forms is the property of the publisher and can be exported using
a simple CSV download. Although Apple provide minimal statistics to the
publishers, they do allow opt-in data capture, giving the user the choice of
supplying data or not.
The highest rate of user registration was found to take place on Magazine Apps,
with 41.48 percent of readers opting to supply their details. A surprising 38.65
percent of brochure app users supplied their details, with only a slightly lower
proportion doing so in Catalogue Apps, where 37.48 percent of readers opted
to supply their details. This is a remarkable number, showing that users are
almost as likely to supply their information in a promotional app as they are
with a magazine title app.
The average proportion of users registering optional details across all three app
types is therefore just over 39 percent. These figures are encouragingly high
and also remarkably consistent with one another, with a difference of only 4%
between the highest and lowest app types.
With Apple announcing that the App Store has had over 10 billion worldwide
downloads since its conception, publishers have potential access to huge
amounts of reader or prospective customer data, creating additional reach
which may not previously have been available to them.
Percentage of Readers Registering Details
Catalogue Apps Magazine Apps Brochure / Promo Apps
6. 2 Average ReadingTime for iPad
Publications is Increasing
On average, the length of time people spend reading iPad publications is
increasing. Across two publication types, magazines and brochures, the visitor
length of the ten most recent issues of each publication type were examined
(with the 10th being the most recent issue at the time of writing).
It was found that time spent reading brochure editions on the iPad has
increased by 67 percent over the last 10 releases, a surprisingly larger increase
than with iPad magazine editions, which showed an increase of just over 50%
since the start of the examined period.
Time Spent on Editions (from earlierst to latest release)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
7. Both publications follow a similar growth curve, maintaining a steady trajectory
throughout the period examined. Encouragingly, the highest growth recorded
for brochure Apps is between issue 9 and issue 10- increasing by just under
50 percent. These figures indicate that the time spent reading brochure
editions on the iPad is increasing at an accelerated rate.
The average time spent on iPad devices overall is also increasing. A recent
survey by Business Insider found that 77.6 percent of tablet owners have
increased their usage of the device since purchase. These results suggest
that as users become better acclimatised to the functions available on
their tablet devices, they are spending longer interacting with them.
8. 3 Individual iPad Publications Get
an Average of 50% Return Rate
YUDU examined return visits across two reader app types: Magazine Apps and
Brochure Apps. On average, 64 percent of Magazine App readers return to the
App and an encouraging 43 percent of users return to a brochure app.
Brochure Apps Magazine Apps
Percentage of Return Visitors
Magazine editions are by nature more content led than a brochure and so the
higher return rate - almost twice that of the brochure - would be expected.
However, the brochure return rate of 43 percent is still encouragingly high,
given the promotional nature of brochure content. The findings suggest that
the iPad is being used regularly by consumers as a research tool for products
Average Number of Return Visits
Brochure Apps Magazine Apps
On average, magazine App users return to each issue 3.7 times and Brochure
App users return to each brochure 1.8 times.
10. 4 Over OneThird of Reader App
Users Download Software Updates
Of all downloads of YUDU reader apps, 33.7 percent are software updates to
existing apps, while new app downloads account for the remaining 66.3 percent.
Container App Downloads
New App Downloads
App Software Updates
This high rate of software updates indicates on-going interaction with the app.
User retention is particularly important for edition based magazines, whose
sales are largely driven by customers returning to the app when new content
is available. While this data doesn’t specifically document the loyalty of
customers when purchasing editions, continuing user interaction with the app
in the form of updates is a useful guideline for assessing the retention of
customers who interact with the apps.
This proportion of new software updates is relatively consistent across the
different types of reader apps. 33.2 percent of all Magazine app downloads
are software updates, while 38 percent of brochure app downloads are
These are impressive findings in a marketplace where free apps are
considered by many to be disposable. Research conducted by app
analytics company Localytics, found that across all app types, 26
percent of those downloaded are used only once.
12. 5 App Downloads Increase
with Apple Device Sales
There is understandably a direct correlation between the amount of app
downloads and the number of Apple devices sold. The graph below illustrates
the increasing number of downloads between the beginning of October and
the end of February.
During the Christmas quarter of 2010, 7.3 million iPad’s were sold globally - as
many as the previous 2 quarters combined. The notable increase in app
downloads that occurs during this time is no doubt a product of the steep
increase in iPad sales over this period.
Oct 16 Nov 11 Dec 07 Jan 02 28 Feb 23
13. On December 25th, app downloads increased by 112 percent on the previous
day, and nearly 72 percent on the previous peak on November 21st. This peak
in downloads was part of the reason why December saw 33 percent more app
downloads than November 2010. Following on from this, app downloads
continued to increase into early January, with just over 100 percent more apps
being downloaded in January 2011 than December.
While the immediate increase of app downloads in times of high device sales
is noteworthy, possibly more significant are figures that show App downloads
have remained higher than prior to the device sales peak. In February 2011,
nearly 78 percent more downloads were recorded than before the peak in
November 2010, and 89 percent in March 2011.
With the release of the iPad 2 in April 2011, and the success it’s had in the
brief time it’s been available (at the time of writing), a similar surge in app
downloads and market growth as a whole can be anticipated.
Free App Downloads (Daily Average)
January February March
14. 6 In-App Purchase is Increasing
Apple’s in-app purchase system, which lets users buy individual publications
or subscriptions from inside an app, is an increasingly important monetization
tool for iPad publishers and developers. Our data suggests usage of this
functionality has surged in recent months.
When the rate of in-app purchase was examined, it was found that as with free
Branded Reader App downloads, in-app purchases have reached a new plateau
in the early months of 2011.
Oct 16 Nov 11 Dec 07 Jan 02 28 Feb 23
15. Clearly there are two notable in-app usage peaks on January 21st and
February 19th, however more significant is the general upward trend of in-app
purchases over the past three months. The rate of in-app purchase remained
consistent, if unspectacular up-to and including December, however it can be
seen that an upward trend of in-app purchases began in 2011.
In January 2011, 53 percent more in-app purchases were made than in Decem-
ber 2010. This growth accelerated in February, with January’s download figures
being exceeded by 81 percent. March saw a smaller but still significant growth
rate of 8 percent.
The relative consolidation of downloads in March demonstrates a
new plateau being reached in the popularity of the in-app purchase
system. Even though up-front payments still make up the largest
revenue portion for iPad Apps, the data suggests that the revenue
stream from in-app purchase is on the increase and should most
definitely be considered as an avenue for publishers and app
developers to explore.
The findings of this report suggest that Branded Reader Apps are proving to
be a successful channel for publishers and brand owners. Particularly
illustrative of this is the finding that an average of 40 percent of reader app
users are opting to share personal information with the publisher when asked.
The importance of this cannot be overstated. Publisher’s main fear (and one
of the main reasons they have been holding back on selling magazine
subscriptions in the iTunes Store) was that Apple’s policies would mean they
could not get the all-important subscriber data that is often the life blood
of every publishing house. The significant marketing opportunity this data
represents may go some way to offset Apple’s 30% fees, especially given the
additional reach that the App Store opens up to Publishers. Brand owners
benefit from the creation of an opt-in database of prospective customers
that can be used for future marketing.
Other findings show that app interaction levels with reader apps are high;
an average return rate of 67 percent to iPad magazine editions is a notable
finding showing that readers are engaging and interacting with the magazines
multiple times. In addition, with over a third of app downloads taking the form
of software updates by existing app users, it is clear users continue to engage
with their apps well after the initial download as they are keen to download
the latest technology.
These findings point to the sustainability of branded reader apps as a viable
business model for publishers looking to sell on the App Store and other
companies who wish to share branded content. What’s more, the recent
release of the iPad 2 is likely to fuel the popularity of branded reader apps
and continue to close the gap between print and digital readership.
We will review the results of this in the next YUDU Report.