The Magazine deserves attention because it is, to date, the only example of a Newsstand publication that might be called 'successful,' and yet it's only two issues old.
Factors contributing to the success of The Magazine:
Factors that have not contributed to the success of The Magazine:
The writing in the first two issues has been merely decent; much of it seems barely better than "blog quality". A guy trying to extract "life lessons" out of the most esoteric details of a particular video game. A how-to for wet shaving. A rationale for app.net that opens with a tedious history of Twitter from its inception to date. There have been some gems, but the quality has been hit-or-miss since Marco has had to take what he could get from his network of friends for the first few issues. Once Marco has more writing to choose from, one hopes that this will improve.
My sense is that Newsstand as a whole will become more relevant as established publications with full-time writing and editing staff apply Marco's sense of design to their own publications. The Magazine will probably remain relevant due to its having been the first of its kind, but in a few years, a new publication with the same level of design and writing quality will have a much harder time attracting attention unless from a well-recognized source. Absent some open-source publishing tools or low-cost services, the Newsstand's "app-ness" will ensure that there are far fewer of those than there might be otherwise.