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.

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Companies: apple

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Comments on “Early Data Says Successful iPad Paid Apps… Aren't Coming From Big Media”

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38 Comments
hegemon13 says:

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.

senshikaze (profile) says:

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?)

hegemon13 says:

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.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 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?

hegemon13 says:

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.

hegemon13 says:

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.

sondun2001 (profile) says:

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.

Anonymous Coward says:

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?

Matt says:

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.

Anonymous Coward says:

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.

Hephaestus (profile) says:

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.

www.eZee.se (profile) says:

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)

The Not-Mike says:

Re: 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.

hegemon13 says:

Re: 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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