Apple's Newsstand raking in $70K a day, study says

According to a new study, Apple's storefront for newspapers and magazines earned about $70,000 a day during February.

Apple's Newsstand on an iPad.
Josh Lowensohn/CNET

Just how much are people spending on digital editions of newspapers and magazines on Apple's digital Newsstand app?

In a study of Apple's App Store for iPad during the month of February, market research firm Distimo says the top 100 publications brought in more than $70,000 a day. That metric -- which is just revenues from the United States -- is led by News Corp.'s The Daily, followed by The New York Times and The New Yorker magazine, the firm said.

Apple launched Newsstand as part of iOS 5 in October, providing a way for users to view newspapers and magazines they've purchased or subscribed to. The app also doubles as its own storefront, where users can browse and purchase content, similar to Apple's App Store, iBooks, and iTunes apps.

Apple does not disclose what individual app makers and content providers earn on its store. The company doles out 70 percent of each sale to content creators, taking a 30 percent cut for itself. Publishers can also let existing subscribers view digital editions of content to which they already subscribe, however they're not allowed to link to outside Web sites where subscriptions can be struck outside of the App Store.

That model has had a mixed reception by publishers, some of which have sidestepped selling through Apple and opted to offer tablet-optimized subscription versions of their sites through the Web instead.

Distimo's studies track Apple's App Store, the BlackBerry App World, GetJar, Google Play, Nokia's Ovi Store, Palm's App Catalog, and Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 Marketplace using "collected transactional data."

Other noteworthy metrics from the study:

  • China has outgrown the United States, when it comes to daily downloads of free applications. The country tallied more than 1.1 million daily downloads from within the top 300 most popular free apps. By comparison, the U.S. tallied "just below" 1 million daily downloads, Distimo said.
  • The U.S. is still the top-grossing country, when it comes to iPad app spending. It is trailed by Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom.
  • The iPad has more apps with in-app purchase than apps built for the iPhone. Ten percent of the iPad applications on the App Store had in-app purchase, versus 6 percent for the iPhone.
  • Downloads of iPad apps by category (click to enlarge).
    Downloads of iPad apps by category (click to enlarge). Distimo

  • iPad users download lots of weather apps. One of the omissions from Apple's iPad version of iOS is a built-in weather app. That has led to some serious downloading, Distimo said. While the number of downloads is nowhere near the same class as things like entertainment, travel, or photography, the study found the number of downloads for weather apps to be considerably higher than how many such apps are available.
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