It took just six months, but Esquire magazineâ€™s iPhone app has crossed a big threshold: itâ€™s gotten 100,000 downloads of in Appleâ€™s iTunes Store. But thatâ€™s only for the free â€œshellâ€ that serves as a storefront to buy individual issues or subscriptions. While the Hearst mag says itâ€™s sold about 1,000 subscriptions to the monthly digital version of the magazine, sales numbers and circulation figures are not the big focus right now; Esquire just wants to get the marketing right.
Since magazine apps began appearing in the App Store last year, most have appeared as individual paid-download items in the iTunes Store. With some exceptions, most users have balked at paying for the news apps on recurring basis, so titles like Time magazine and WSJ have turned to the free â€œshellsâ€ to serve as an enticement.