Apple’s Newsstand generating $70,000 every day

A big boost to publisher’s revenues

Apple’s Newsstand is providing a big boost to publisher’s revenues, with the top 100 apps in the store generating a total of $7,000 per day between them, according to a study by Distimo. The research firm claims that Newsstand, is already gaining “a lot of traction” despite launching less than six months ago, with more than 7% of the top 200 grossing apps across the entire App Store coming from this category. The vast majority of this revenue is coming from in-app purchases from US customers, suggesting that publishers are finding success in offering subscriptions to their titles via Newsstand.

The entertainment and games categories have been popular since launch, but recently the Newsstand category has started to gain a lot of traction,” says Distimo analyst Gert Jan Spriensma. “This category is bringing in a substantial proportion of the revenue.”

Perhaps surprisingly, News Corp’s tablet-only publication, The Daily, is the highest grossing app in Newsstand, although Distimo does not break out revenues for individual apps. The news will be a boost to News Corp, which has come in for some criticism for its decision to launch a publication that is only available on tablets, which remain a relatively niche product. Earlier this year, its publisher Grey Clayman claimed that The Daily had hit 100,000 paying subscribers a year after launch, suggesting that News Corp’s gamble may be paying off. However, it still remains questionable whether the venture will prove profitable, with commentators estimating that the firm needs 800,000 paying subscribers before it starts making money for News Corp. Other popular publications include the New York TimesThe New YorkerNational Geographic and Cosmopolitan.

The stats from Distimo on the success of Newsstand will come as no surprise to many publishers, with firms such as Dennis Publishing crediting the store with providing a significant boost to its digital revenues. Speaking to StrategyEye recently, the firm’s head of app development, Alex Watson, describes the difference in its performance before and after the launch of Newsstand as “night and day”. He says Dennis has recorded 3.9 million downloads since Newsstand opened, generating revenues of $400,000 after Apple’s cut and VAT.

There was before Newsstand and there was after,” says Watson. “Before Newsstand we looked at apps as the kind of business that was, over the course of the year, going to turn over a couple of hundred grand, which in Dennis terms would make it a part of the business, but not critical. With Newsstand we did those numbers in the first few days. It’s fairly clear that for publishers it really does transform the app store into the kind of business where the revenue potential is in the millions.”

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