Magazine Publisher Future Charts Path Back To Profitability Thanks To Apple’s Newsstand

Future, an international publisher whose titles include T3, Official Xbox Magazine and websites like GamesRadar, revealed in a new trading update today that it is building up a good incoming gross revenue stream from Apple Newsstand, which has driven over £5M (roughly $8M U.S) in total since Newsstand’s launch in October. Increases in digital revenues are offsetting the decline on the print side, CEO Mark Wood told me in an interview, and that trend is expected to continue.

Future’s iPad strategy has also helped the company grow its international audience. Forty percent of subscriptions now come from US, 20% from the U.K., and 40% from the rest of the world. Wood says the publisher is seeing a tremendous uptake in some Asian countries via the App Store and Newsstand, including China and Korea, despite not offering localized versions of their content in their audiences’ primary languages.

In total, Future offers more than 65 titles on Apple’s Newsstand, including a number like Cycling News HD created specifically for the platform, which are generally weekly. Experimenting with more frequent delivery periods (specifically weekly instead of monthly) to cater to the new digital audience, is a direct result of the type of engagement Future is seeing on Apple’s mobile platforms. Wood says that readers are interested in more bite-sized, frequent content packages, and Future is tailoring its publishing strategy accordingly.

Another part of that shift is moving toward more interactive content and rich media, something Wood says Future is committed to delivering across its product range. The interactive editions are being created with the help of a tool developed by Future for that purpose called FutureFolio, which not only helps with its own products but also acts as another revenue stream as a backend product to be sold.

So far, Future has seen over 1.7 million total iOS sales since Newsstand’s launch, and 40% of those are coming on as subscribers, which is a very good capture rate. There are also a lot of new customers on board, with about 90 percent of sales overall being new to brand. Overall, that’s incredibly promising news for a company that was looking at a steady decline in print subscriber and revenue numbers just over a year ago.