Blog Post

iPad Day One: Charts Show Big Media Mostly Playing In Free Apps, Not Paid

So day one of iPad launch almost over — though West Coast’s still in full swing — no estimates on how many iPads have sold, but it is instructive to see how the charts for iPad apps are doing. The big hope that it would be the savior of big media isn’t bearing out yet, though admittedly, it is too early. Most of the media companies, besides the select few Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) roped in for the launch, haven’t even launched their apps yet. One big trend that’s apparent: big media and entertainment companies are doing very well in top free apps, but are barely present in top paid apps, whether by number of apps downloaded, or by the gross revenues from their apps.

But wait a sec, wasn’t this supposed to be the platform for big media’s paid strategy? What happened? Again, stretching the analysis a bit in these early hours after the launch, one guess is that users realize they can get all the big media content on their browsers anyway, so what’s the point in paying for them, nevermind all the whizbang and interactivity the apps provide. The Safari browser is a full browser, like the iPhone/iTouch, but it is also a bigger, more legible screen. It doesn’t take rocket science to extrapolate from here. We’ll see if this holds true in a month or two, when a fuller array of apps will be available.

Click on the image below to see top charts in news, entertainment, lifestyle, sports, social networking, finance and reference categories, sectors where most of the media/entertainment companies play.

12 Responses to “iPad Day One: Charts Show Big Media Mostly Playing In Free Apps, Not Paid”

  1. JamesBourner

    Apps and Content: Why is there such a percieved correlation?

    I browse content via the browser and very rarely through an app even if one is available. I’ve read a couple of articles harping on about content becomeing fragmented with ppl viewing via myriad of apps and the issues that can cause for advertisers.

    I don’t see it as an issue. If ppl are d/loading many apps (that present content as opposed to providing functionality) then surely it’s a novelty thing and users will again converge to using a browser for viewing content.

    If I’d bought an iPad this would especially be the case as the large screen makes this more viable.

    Please enlighten me, I feel that I’m missing something.

  2. hipshot

    OMG you think its interesting that iworks is top… they way iPad is advertised iworks comes WITH the iPAD….. So basically the Pad comes with itunes, and a browser and photo/mpeg viewer.
    What a load of crap, that and no USB connectivity is a dumb down device, designed to milk the consumer 2-12 at a time.

  3. howardweaver

    Wow: an almost content-free article. Even though sales on Day One haven’t ended and while only a tiny percentage of the potential app producers have yet had a chance to produce any, let’s note that the apps that are available aren’t top sellers — and that the iPad won’t of itself “save the media.”

    There’s not a useful information calorie in there.

  4. just wait for the ipad to be evenly distributed,ipad is still a brand new product for now.and then when most people use ipad, the media company will find a way to charge the customer for item that they are reading. :-)

  5. i think that if the contect on websites will have edge people will agree to pay. for simple daytoday news that is available on every TV station, website, or free subway letout.. no one will pay.
    But for real content, original and with edge – people will pay

  6. Bryan Christmas

    To be fair- 3 of those 9 “free” apps are free to download, but then require users to pay to actually see any content.

    Its interesting that the iWork suite made the top 3 at $10 per though. I think content and app producers should be encouraged that the App Store pricing expectation set by the iPhone apps (mostly $1-3) doesn’t seem to be holding people back here.