Some data on Apple’s iTunes Newsstand Sales

AppleInsider reports that the average daily sale for iTunes Newsstand titles is $70,000.

A new study released on Tuesday reveals that Apple iPad users spend about $70,000 each day on tablet-centric newspapers and magazines purchased through Newsstand for iOS.

The study was conducted by Distimo a research analytics firm. So it can only be based on guesswork. My initial reaction was that this daily total sounds rather small; from our own experience with 50 apps in the market, I would have supposed that the total sales from over 2,000 apps now in the iTunes newsstand would be quite a bit higher. But AppleInsider and other commentators obviously regard $70K a day as a promising statistic. Business Insider the sister web site even gushes  “Maybe the iPad is going to save the media business after all.”

We have been firmly of the view that the iPad is the best digital prospect for magazines ever since Apple launched their newsstand (actually since they launched renewal subscriptions last summer), but the sales data does seem a bit sketchy. Looking further into the Distimo report it would appear that their figure of $70K a day is based on an assessment of the sales of the top 100 newsstand apps in the US market. So the figure does begin to make some sense. A global figure for the whole of the iTunes newsstand will be higher. But it immediately raises in my mind the question: how are sales doing in the different markets in which Apple is selling its iPad? Most of the periodicals in the newsstand are English language, and this should change. The UK magazine market has been perhaps as fast as the US market to produce branded magazine apps for iTunes, and sales in the UK alone could be running at a comparable rate to $70K a day…

Some of the Exact Editions apps pop up in the top selling iTunes periodicals, but these figures are pretty hard to fathom. For some reason the Arsenal fanzine, The Gooner does well most of the time — it is currently in the best seller list at number 87. Its a fabulous magazine, and we can agree that it has a brilliant app; but I always scratch my head when I see it up in the listings: a football fanzine in the top 100 best sellers? Are Apple running their statistics from a biased base of North London supporters? The reality is that the iTunes newsstand is still in its very early days, the Gooner may be the only football fanzine in iTunes, and when there are 20 football fanzines in iTunes, none of them will be in the top 500 best seller listings. By then there will surely be 10,000 other magazines to choose from. A majority of the best-selling UK magazines still do not have a presence in iTunes, and until they do get there we will know that the market is still very immature. The striking thing we have noticed about iTunes magazine sales is that they have grown and are continuing to grow very fast. The key challenge is now to see if iTunes sales can jump 10-fold in the next year, as they have in the last 12 months. When Apple’s newsstand pulls in $700K a day, or $250 million pa, we will be making a difference to the overall outlook for magazines. There is a great opportunity for the magazine publishers, and also for Apple. The outlook is promising but its still early days.

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4 thoughts on “Some data on Apple’s iTunes Newsstand Sales

  1. Reblogged this on Fictional Narratives and commented:
    Currently those successful newspapers and magazines are targeted at the right demographic, the people who buy iPads, it will be interesting to see how the media business outside of that demographic is going to achieve this kind of initial success.

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