From Ad Week:
At Hearst Magazines, for example, 30 percent of its single copies sold on tablets are back issues, according to president David Carey. Hearst sells digital editions of lots of its brands including Cosmopolitan, Esquire and Popular Mechanics on the iPad, and with single issues representing 10 percent to 15 percent of its digital editions volume, back issues make up some 4 percent of the total.
Carey calls back issues the “long tail” of digital editions. “Like book publishers, we’re making our ‘back list’ more easily accessed by readers,” he emailed. “Much of the content is truly timeless.”
Enthusiast publisher Bonnier has had a similar experience. At its Popular Science, which has been on the iPad since its launch, back issues have accounted for 40 percent of its single digital copies sold this year, said Gregg Hano, Popular Science’s publisher. At sibling title Popular Photography, the figure is 41 percent.