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e-Magazines for iPad Have Miserable Average Rating of 2.27

It seems pretty clear that after a decade of fits and starts, Amazon’s Kindle, in particular, has really got the ebook market figured out and we are in the midst of a shift in the way books are delivered and read.

The electronic delivery of magazines, on the other hand, seems to be a disaster so far. I took a look at the current average customer ratings of 13 e-magazines for the iPad in the iTunes App Store. You can see the average rating next to the name of the magazines in the list below.

3.5 Popular Mechanics
3 GQ Magazine
2.5 MacUser Magazine
2.5 Popular Science
2.5 Vanity Fair Magazine
2.5 Wired Magazine
2 Fortune Magazine
2 Glamour Magazine
2 People Magazine
2 Slate Magazine
2 Sports Illustrated
1.5 Time Magazine
1.5 Newsweek for iPad

The magazines come mostly from Time, Inc. and Conde Nast. However, I also found and threw other well-known titles into the mix (Popular Mechanics, MacUser, Slate, Newsweek). The average rating of all 14 magazines is a relatively miserable 2.27 (out of a possible 5)

The only e-magazine that might be considered successful from a customer approval point of view is Popular Mechanics. Comments in the iTunes App Store indicate that people seem to be satisfied with the way it functions. But, more importantly, customers seem reasonably satisfied with its $1.99 issue price. This compares to the typical $3.99 or $4.99 price seen for other e-magazines for the iPad.

Price is apparently not the biggest factor in customer satisfaction though. People Magazine has a 2-star rating despite that it is free to subscribers of the paper edition of the magazine.

Magazine publishers appear to have a long way to go before the get the e-magazine formula right. It took nearly a decade for ebooks to hit their stride. So, we should expect fits and starts with e-magazines soon.

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