Axel Springer Thanks iPad For 134,140 Daily Digital Customers

German news publisher Axel Springer, whose own paid consumer content initiative launched before News Corp.’s, has reported what it says are some promising figures…

The publisher, which began charging on mobile in late 2009 and has since introduced charges for its titles’ websites, claims a total 134,140 digital sales per issue across the portfolio, rising to 189,096 for print subscribers who also have digital access.

Like News Corp.’s The Times and like The Telegraph, FT and others, Springer can credit iPad for much of the rise. Half of the digital daily payments for its Die Welt quality newspaper are through iPad, but fewer for the mass-market Bild, which is the world’s largest-selling newspaper outside Japan. And engagement times are high, “despite the fact that iPads are not yet widespread in Germany”…

“First of all, they make it clear that digital sales are still low, in absolute terms, and still far removed from the print numbers,” Springer’s premium content director Georg Konjovic acknowledges. “But, considering the current market penetration of PC tablets, they are still very promising. They give us good reason to press forward with our paid-content initiative.”

Springer says its audience research found: “On average, such users invest more than €100 ($143/£87.26) per year in apps, the majority of which (goes toward) the attractive journalistic products of Axel Springer’s media brands.”

Axel Springer’s half-year digital revenue grew 30.3 perent from last year to €435.1 ($622.19/£379.65) million, with online ads up 42.8 percent to €357.1 ($510.65/£311.59) million.

Digital and international activities account for nearly 40 percent of operating profit. Company-wide EBITDA is up by a tenth to €288.7 ($412.84/£251.91) million on 11.8 percent better revenue of €1.52 ($2.17/£1.33) billion.

Release | Financials