Early Data Says Successful iPad Paid Apps... Aren't Coming From Big Media

from the inauspicious-start dept

So we were among those questioning the idea that the iPad would somehow revolutionize the media business by suddenly getting people to pay for content again (though, amusingly, nearly all the criticism on that post focused on whether the iPad would be successful, not about the media business models the post talked about). While it's way too early to make any sort of judgment on this particular issue, the early data certainly suggests that media companies have their work cut out for them. That's because while big media players appear to be doing well on free apps, in the paid apps category, the big media brands simply aren't topping the charts. This isn't really a surprise. If you look at the details, it looks like games and specific utilities are topping the charts. As has been noted over and over again, since the iPad comes with a full browser, the media players need to offer something really, really special to actually get people to pay -- and at the prices being offered, most people are just not likely to be interested. It seems likely that the prices will start dropping quickly, though we wonder what these publications will do for the few suckers who paid up early.


Reader Comments (rss)

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  1.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Apr 5th, 2010 @ 12:03pm

    "though we wonder what these publications will do for the few suckers who paid up early"

    Yeah refunding money to all 35 of the people would be very time consuming.

     

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  2.  
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    hegemon13, Apr 5th, 2010 @ 12:07pm

    not quite

    "As has been noted over and over again, since the iPad comes with a full browser, the media players need to offer something really, really special to actually get people to pay..."

    You're right about the second part, but not so much the first part. If you consider a "full" browser to be one that does not support Flash, Ajax, or other heavily-used plugins, then I guess it's full. But you won't be watching much in the way of media without these basic features.

     

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  3.  
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    Steve, Apr 5th, 2010 @ 12:18pm

    Re: not quite

    Ajax? Eh? That's just JavaScript .. I'd be pretty surprised if they left that out.

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 5th, 2010 @ 12:21pm

    Too bad the geeks at Floor64 won't make an iPad app. But that won't stop me.

    This is all Creative Commons, right?

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 5th, 2010 @ 12:22pm

    Re: Re: not quite

    Don't expect rational behavior from Apple haters. They'll blast Apple for being proprietary while at the same time eviscerating Apple for failing to include a proprietary plug-in like Flash.

     

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  6.  
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    reboog711 (profile), Apr 5th, 2010 @ 12:29pm

    Is "Fill Browser" a bit of a misnomer?

    I haven't been watching the publishing debate and how it relates tot he iPad; but..

    The iPad browser does not support Adobe's Flash Player; which delivers most of the video content on the web. Does the iPad's browser compete with custom iPad applications?

     

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  7.  
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    NAMELESS.ONE, Apr 5th, 2010 @ 12:32pm

    @4 ajax is not just javascript

    ajax is what allows javascript to interact with files and databases and ...do much more flashy stuff thusly

     

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  8.  
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    NAMELESS.ONE, Apr 5th, 2010 @ 12:34pm

    morons all 300000 of them

    can we get a list of names so we cna really suck these rich idiots money totally and bankrupt them. Aftr that we can rmeove all the people form manhatten island and drop them there and ONE tactical nuke ought to solve STUPID for a while

     

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  9.  
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    Matt, Apr 5th, 2010 @ 12:41pm

    Missing a huge opportunity

    How easy would it be to attract advertisers to a free app for something like this? This applies more to smaller media outlets, such as a newspaper in a big-town-but-not-huge-metropolis. You could offer a free app, and go to advertisers with a hard number: *this many people* have downloaded our app, and *this many people* use it per day. It's hard to get concrete numbers like that for a website, and it's even hard to do it precisely for physical media. It seems like local papers could really attract advertisers this way.

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 5th, 2010 @ 12:42pm

    Re: morons all 300000 of them

    Stupid like the inability to use punctuation? Stupid like "Aftr" or "rmeove"? Or just stupid like spending hundreds of dollars on an unfinished product?

    So long as the buyers feel like they got what they paid for, there shouldn't be a problem. Of course, that is the pivotal problem. Once the new gadget buzz wears off, will they still feel like they made a good purchase?

     

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  11.  
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    Steven (profile), Apr 5th, 2010 @ 12:43pm

    Re: not quite

    From my understanding the only "heavily-used plugins" not supported is Flash. However it can do video over HTML5 which nicely fills that gap.

    Still I don't see the ipad being worth much to me.

     

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  12.  
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    senshikaze (profile), Apr 5th, 2010 @ 12:46pm

    Re: Re: Re: not quite

    hell, i am full time open source fanatic, but still use flash, the nvidia closed driver, and have a mac. i have to admit, i dislike flash, only because adobe seems about as concerned with security as MS was early in the last decade (see: not at freaking all). hopefully html5 video will help some (though moving to h.264 seems like a lateral, not a step forward to me)

    And the iPad has ajax. like steve said, it is just javascript (ever used the iphone for god's sake?)

     

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  13.  
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    senshikaze (profile), Apr 5th, 2010 @ 12:49pm

    Re: Missing a huge opportunity

    This is a good idea, and if newspapers could quit whining and start actually trying to fix their problems, they would have already done this.

     

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  14.  
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    mac84, Apr 5th, 2010 @ 12:59pm

    Re: Is "Fill Browser" a bit of a misnomer?

    Yes. That evil proprietary Apple supports an open standard -- HTML 5. Why would they do that? Go figure.

     

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  15.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Apr 5th, 2010 @ 1:03pm

    Killer apps and the news papers

    Here is an idea for a killer app. Create an app the scours RSS feeds for information and news and allow people to create their own personal newspaper. Allow it to take story suggestions from friends. Add the ability to comment, track comments, and notify you when someone responds. Allow templates in this app.

    With this you app you have officially destroyed the newspaper app market on the iPad and any chance that the newspapers will survive the online world.

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 5th, 2010 @ 1:20pm

    Re: Missing a huge opportunity

    That is the old way of media thinking. Delivering content to sell ads? Pah! might as well just walk to the news stand and pick up a paper copy.

    No, this is the new media buster!!! Content is valuable now, especially if it's delivered over tubes. Sure they will still get ad revenue, but they deserve to get that already (that's what they got before). No, this new way of delivering content demands a step up in content charging and since their ad overlords don't seem to want to foot the bill the media is looking at you, the gullible consumer. Plus, see how well it's implemented??? Well, it is! It's all flashy (without flash) and bright and colorful, and snazzy! So shut the hell up and open up your wallet.

     

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  17.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 5th, 2010 @ 1:23pm

    i dont think anyone expects big media to top the charts at any time certainly not day 1. first is all the cool stupid useless twitter tagging spam apps and mindless games. you try to hard to put media down masnick try not to be so obvious next time.

     

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  18.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 5th, 2010 @ 1:29pm

    Re:

    Not exactly. Many of the top free apps are actual in-app paid utilities (ibook. need to buy books after installing this) and auxiliary utilities (Netflix, WSJ etc. You need additional subscription).

     

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  19.  
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    www.eZee.se (profile), Apr 5th, 2010 @ 1:35pm

    Re: Killer apps and the news papers

    "Here is an idea for a killer app..."
    STOP right there, because you cant take the final step before lord Job's (useless) army approves your killer app, or denies it giving you no reason or a crappy reason either of which you cant argue with.

    And do you honestly think _that_ killer app will be allowed when fruity company is playing the savior to the newspapers?

    The more i know about Appl and their iPad the more i love this site: iPadForAniC**t.com (I think you can guess what comes instead of the stars)

     

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  20.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 5th, 2010 @ 2:03pm

    Re:

    It's easy to put big media down when you look at how they've behaved over the past 15 years.

    "What? Using past trends to predict future ones? That's impossible! Okay, Nostra-dumbass!"

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 5th, 2010 @ 2:08pm

    The iPod was to the single on an album as the iPad will be to the article in a magazine/newspaper.

     

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  22.  
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    hegemon13, Apr 5th, 2010 @ 2:17pm

    Re: Re: not quite

    Well, maybe Ajax isn't the issue. I thought that was what Google Docs was built on, but maybe not. All I know is that you cannot edit docs on Google with an iPad. Apologize if I mis-spoke on Ajax, but my general point remains the same. There are too many holes in the browser to call it "full." More like, "Apple-approved." If they want you to buy an app from them, they'll make sure similar functionality can't be obtained through the browser.

     

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  23.  
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    hegemon13, Apr 5th, 2010 @ 2:26pm

    Re: Re: Re: not quite

    "Don't expect rational behavior from Apple haters. They'll blast Apple for being proprietary while at the same time eviscerating Apple for failing to include a proprietary plug-in like Flash."

    Um, that makes no sense. I'm not angry that Apple is not including Flash. It's that they are not ALLOWING it to be supported. The proprietary issue and the non-inclusion of Flash are ONE IN THE SAME. Adobe can't release Flash because Apple does not want them to, not because of any inherent incompatibility. And why doesn't Apple want them to? Because the vast majority of their precious apps would be rendered obsolete.

    Yes, I proudly, loudly, and unrepentantly despise the trend that Apple is setting. Open computing (referring not to open source but to the ability of any developer to release applications for a platform) has led to incredible innovation over the last 20 years. Apple becoming a content gatekeeper is a twenty-year regression, and it scares me that they are being seen as a trend-setter by reducing the value and options of the end-user.

    Call me an Apple-hater if you like, but that's not really accurate. I think they make quality products with a stable, high-quality platform. However, locking it down and becoming gatekeeper is inexcusable and despicable. I'm not an Apple-hater. I am an equal-opportunity walled-garden hater. Apple just seems to be getting the most attention right now.

     

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  24.  
    identicon
    hegemon13, Apr 5th, 2010 @ 2:26pm

    Re: Re: Re: not quite

    "Don't expect rational behavior from Apple haters. They'll blast Apple for being proprietary while at the same time eviscerating Apple for failing to include a proprietary plug-in like Flash."

    Um, that makes no sense. I'm not angry that Apple is not including Flash. It's that they are not ALLOWING it to be supported. The proprietary issue and the non-inclusion of Flash are ONE IN THE SAME. Adobe can't release Flash because Apple does not want them to, not because of any inherent incompatibility. And why doesn't Apple want them to? Because the vast majority of their precious apps would be rendered obsolete.

    Yes, I proudly, loudly, and unrepentantly despise the trend that Apple is setting. Open computing (referring not to open source but to the ability of any developer to release applications for a platform) has led to incredible innovation over the last 20 years. Apple becoming a content gatekeeper is a twenty-year regression, and it scares me that they are being seen as a trend-setter by reducing the value and options of the end-user.

    Call me an Apple-hater if you like, but that's not really accurate. I think they make quality products with a stable, high-quality platform. However, locking it down and becoming gatekeeper is inexcusable and despicable. I'm not an Apple-hater. I am an equal-opportunity walled-garden hater. Apple just seems to be getting the most attention right now.

     

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  25.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Apr 5th, 2010 @ 2:56pm

    Re: Re: Re: not quite

    I don't hate Apple, but I do hate their business methods. Just as I hate Microsoft's. Ethically speaking, the only ethical difference between MS and Apple is that Apple is better at it, and better at maintaining a cult-like following. Which makes them worse.

     

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  26.  
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    sondun2001 (profile), Apr 5th, 2010 @ 2:57pm

    Re: @4 ajax is not just javascript

    AJAX isn't a plugin though like what was said earlier. AJAX is a fancy name for using JavaScript to communicate with a server, then using DOM to access HTML elements and write content directly to them without having to refresh the page. Simply put it is JavaScript, HTML, and communication with a back end such as PHP and MySQL... which the iPad and any modern browser support.

     

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  27.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 5th, 2010 @ 3:44pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: not quite

    Why doesn't Adobe allow anyone to write their own flash plug-in? Maybe then Apple would include it if they could write their own. Probably wouldn't crash as much as Adobe's does on Safari. Yesterday I was checking my CPU usage, and I saw that the flash plugin was taking up 10% of my CPU, and I had one flash video app running, but it was paused. 10% to display a static picture on screen. Is there any wonder why Apple doesn't want flash on their mobile devices?

     

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  28.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 5th, 2010 @ 5:13pm

    Re: Re:

    hi mike. 15 years of ipad apps? wow big media is far ahead.

     

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  29.  
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    The Not-Mike, Apr 5th, 2010 @ 5:21pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    I am not Mike and you are dumb for thinking so. If it makes you feel better I will sign all my post as "The Not-Mike".

    Remember when the CD-ROM was going to save the media industry and didn't? How about the internet? The Kindle? The iPod? Every other thing to come out in the past 15 years?

    Why are they still failing? Hint: it's because their content is over-priced.

     

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  30.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 5th, 2010 @ 5:29pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    okay mike keep working with that. we wont discuss the over priced cars that killed off the buggy business.

     

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  31.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 5th, 2010 @ 9:42pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    How many cars could you get for free at the time? How many amateurs were releaseing scads of free cars?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 5th, 2010 @ 10:51pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    buggy was cheap car was very expensive. horses were just about free they reproduce you know. but cars were expensive and won out. people were willing to pay even if the buggy worked. amazing.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 5th, 2010 @ 11:36pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Buggy stopped innovating. Cars kept innovating. Big media stopped innovating. Little media kept innovating.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 6th, 2010 @ 12:43am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    second ipad slag from masnick in 2 days. his theory of the world is threatened as buggies make comeback.

     

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  35.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 6th, 2010 @ 7:07am

    Thanks for blocking my comment yesterday.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 6th, 2010 @ 7:13am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    HOLY SHIT THE BUGGIES ARE COMING BACK EVERYBODY GET OFF THE ROAD!!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37.  
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    hegemon13, Apr 6th, 2010 @ 10:54am

    Re:

    Don't think so, sorry.

    First, and article is disposable. You read it once, and you're done. Music is enjoyed over and over, so people are more willing to pay for it.

    Second, people were accustomed to paying for music when the iPod came out. People today are already getting their news for free. With iTunes, people discovered a way to buy only what they wanted at a lower price than purchasing a full CD. With articles, people will discover a way to pay for something that they can already find for free in a perfectly legal manner. That's not likely to create much enthusiasm.

     

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  38.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 6th, 2010 @ 7:26pm

    Re: Re:

    You have convinced me. I agree and will let the comparison go the way of the dodo bird.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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