Hearst had planned to hit the million subscriber milestone by the end of 2012, but the publisher missed its goal by 90 days, Hearst chief David Carey told AllThingsD. Carey expects that the magazine will have about three million digital subscribers by 2016, about 10 percent of Hearst's entire base.
Hearst publishes titles such as O, Food Network Magazine, Popular Mechanics, and Cosmopolitan.
The million subscriber figure no doubt includes users on devices like Amazon's Kindle and Kindle Fire, Android tablets, and Barnes & Noble's Nook tablet. Given the popularity of Apple's iPad, though, a good number of Hearst's subscribers may be relying on Apple products to access publications.
Services like Apple's Newsstand ? which provides a repository for a user's periodicals ? have provided a foothold for magazines in the tablet era. While the revenues coming from digital sales are usually nowhere near those gained from physical magazine sales, iPad users have been estimated to spend north of $70,000 a day on Newsstand content, and such sales have encouraged some publishers.