Hearst has about 400,000 digital subscribers as users embrace tablets

Reuters is reporting that Hearst Magazines expects to each 1,000,000 digital subscribers by the end of next year:

The launch of Newsstand in iOS 5 seems to have helped spur more digital subscriptions on the iPad. Newsstand is a central place on the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch that allows users to subscribe to and manage magazine and newspaper subscriptions. New editions show up each day, week and month automatically and a user’s subscriptions show up on a bookshelf in a very user-friendly format.

Newsstand is not a feature designed for expert users. Expert users already knew how to easy manage their news subscriptions. The beauty of newsstand, however, is how it is allowing more users to enjoy news content on their iPads.

Part one was making a device that could work well for magazines and now part two is making it really easy for users to subscribe to and manage magazine subscriptions. There are high hopes that Amazon will be able to done the same with the Kindle Fire in the future. Other Android tablets are not seeing many digital subscribers to magazines and don’t have a good way to subscribe to and manage magazine subscriptions.

The current 7-inch Kindle Fire is not a good magazine reading experience, but Amazon is expected to release an iPad-sized tablet next year.

The quality of news apps on the iPad is all over the map. Some are just digital versions of print, while others are embedding in a lot of interactivity and multimedia. Some news apps are extremely hard to use and are a substantially worse experience than their own websites on the iPad.

It will be very interesting to see the quality of news apps in a few years.