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thumbnailiTunes users spend $40/year on apps, music, and digital shtuff May 13th 2013, 22:21
MobileBeat 2013 July 9-10, 2013
San Francisco, CAEarly Bird Tickets on Sale

itunes gift cardApple has built a massive and fast-growing $16 billion annual revenue stream in digital content alone, Apple analyst Horace Dediu says.

The company announced that quarterly iTunes revenues topped $4 billion — including $2.4 billion in content alone — in its latest earnings report. Based on historical numbers alone, that’s a $16 billion annual run rate, thanks to Apple’s 500 million iTunes users. But since it also has grown at a fairly steady 29 percent per quarter for the past six years, it’s also an underestimate of the annual value of the iTunes ecosystem.

And it gets better as users have more Apple devices.

“Apple users spend about $1/day for each Apple device in use,” Dediu says.

iTunes digital media revenue by product segment Source: Horace Dediu
iTunes digital media revenue by product segment.

All of which means that Apple is still king of the mobile ecosystem, at least as far as monetization is concerned. Users have currently downloaded 49.9 billion apps, and Apple is currently running a contest which will see the downloader of the 50th billion app win $10,000 in iTunes cash. While Google Play is growing faster than Apple’s app store, Apple still leads in downloads, and it holds a 2.6-times revenue advantage.

It’s also an interesting metric for Amazon to evaluate itself by.

Amazon sells Kindle devices at or near cost in part because it hopes to make extra revenue on digital content — perhaps $3 per user per month – via its own app store and its digital media offerings, such as TV shows and movies. Its newly launched virtual currency Amazon Coins should help with that mission, and with 11 million to 12.5 million Kindles sold through Christmas 2012, and perhaps 15 million sold to date, that would translate into just over half a billion dollars in revenue.

And at Apple-like numbers of $40/user/year, it would be $600 million dollars.

All of which could help explain why Amazon is hitting digital media hard and buying technology to make all of its Kindles full-color, with responsive screens.

And why Apple, Amazon, and Google are increasingly hard-core competitors in their three-way battle to own your devices … and your wallet.

Image credit: 401(K) 2013/Flickr

Filed under: Business, Cloud, Gadgets, Mobile
Media files:
itunes gift card
iTunes digital media revenue by product segment

Spair launches testing for its mobile cloud-gaming service May 13th 2013, 20:02
SpairChances are you already own a smartphone, and maybe you have a tablet as well. It’s possible that one is an Android and the other is an iOS device or Windows Phone. Having access to multiple mobile operating systems has its benefits, but it can get frustrating when you have to start repurchasing apps and games.

That’s exactly the issue that Spair Mobile plans to address. The developer is hoping to offer an app on iOS, Android, and Windows Phone that enables individuals to purchase an app once that can then stream to any device running Spair. This means you pay once for a game that works on an iPhone and Windows Phone. Not only that, but the games run exactly the same, and developers only have to build the it once. With Spair’s cloud-gaming functionality, players can also save their progress in the cloud and pick up a game where they left it off on another handset.

Now, Spair is entering an early alpha-testing phase. The company is looking for developers, and signups are open now on its website.

Tim Spair“We see a great desire to change things from developers,” Spair founder Tim Abdullaev told GamesBeat. “It proves that we are doing everything right.”

Abdullaev, who is 16 years old, says his company is working with more than 10 developers and around 30 games for these tests. He also says that the company wants to target anyone who has played Angry Birds with its final product.

“As far as I know, that’s more than a billion people,” said Abdullaev.

The young entrepreneur says his software can eliminate situations where people download games that don’t work on their less-powerful smartphones. It also could enable developers to code a game once and quickly distribute the same title on iOS, Windows Phone, and Android.

One question that is still in the air, however, is pricing for the individual apps.

“We are actively discussing the pricing issue,” said Abdullaev. “But pricing will be in full accordance with the average price in the competing markets.”

Finally, Spair is essentially a competing game market. That’s something that Google, Apple, and Microsoft all forbid in their app stores. That means Spair will face an uphill battle in acquiring users even if it does get it’s technology fully working.

Filed under: Games, Mobile