Asymco: iOS apps drive one-third of iTunes' revenues

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Less than five years after Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) first opened its App Store for iPhone, iOS applications now fuel one-third of all revenues across the iTunes multimedia ecosystem, according to Asymco analyst Horace Dediu.

After crunching numbers released by Apple earlier this week against existing data, Dediu calculated that the iTunes economy as a whole (including apps, music and video) now generates $12 billion in annual gross revenues. Downloads from the App Store currently account for about $4 billion a year.While non-app media still generates the remaining two-thirds of iTunes revenues, Dediu noted that iOS app sales are now growing at a rate of 50 percent year-over-year, far ahead of music and video at 28 percent.

Total iTunes revenues have risen between 32 percent and 38 percent compounded over the last four years, Dediu reported. Viewed as a retail business, iTunes now costs about $3.5 billion a year to operate, including merchandising, payment processing and delivery costs: "Over the last five years content owners (media and app) received a total of $24 billion while Apple spent about $10 billion to create those sales," he added.

Asymco examines how iTunes' revenues are split up.

Apple said Monday that it has paid out more than $7 billion to its iOS developer partners. More than 500 million consumers in 155 countries have active App Store accounts, and they've downloaded more than 40 billion iOS applications to date, including close to 20 billion in 2012 alone and a record-high 2 billion during the month of December. The App Store now boasts more than 775,000 applications optimized for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, including 300,000 native iPad apps.

For more:
- read this Asymco blog entry
- read this Unofficial Apple Weblog article

Related articles:
Apple's iOS developer payouts exceed $7 billion, downloads top 40 billion
Forecast: Apple's iOS 6 launch could boost App Store revenues to $5 billion
Apple locks App Store screenshots to foil scammers
Apple warns developers against manipulating App Store rankings
Apple adding food and drink category to the App Store

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