Will magazines on tablets ever be proitable?

Tablet apps are very popular with magazine publishers.  “Conde Nast and the other [publishers] are looking at the tablet market as the promised land that will deliver them from the plight that they are going through in print and online,” Roger Entner, founder of Recon Analytics, a research and consulting firm, said to TheWrap.com.

But are they making money?  No hard figures have been released, but Conde Nast’s iPad editions, for example, are making up just 1.3% of its total print circulation.  Each publisher, of course, believes its in-house monetizing strategy will unclog the profit faucet.

However, it’s going to get even more complicated before it’s over.  Apple is rumored to release a newsstand app in September; Amazon is rumored to launch its own tablet soon; HP unexpectedly got out of the market; the joint venture Next Issue Media (which some day might even do something) is still trying to provide “an easy and economical entry into the digital reading channel”; and let’s not forget Flipboard.com…

“We’re all in the sandbox,” Entner commented to The Wrap.  “We’re in the process of stepping out of the sandbox.  Hopefully we don’t stumble over the rim.”

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