iTunes jackpot: Billions and billions

iTunes jackpot: Billions and billions
[Via Brainstorm Tech:]

Apple has paid out more than $2 billion to developers, $12 billion to music labels

Source: Asymco

Sometime in the next week or so, the zeros on the App Store countdown odometer will roll over and Apple (AAPL) will announce that 10 billion apps have been downloaded since the store opened two and a half years ago.

Asymco’s Horace Dediu has used the approaching milestone to run series of analytical charts. The first group, posted Sunday, showed that the number of apps downloaded per iOS device is accelerating and has grown from about 10 per iPhone and iPod touch in the fall of 2008 to more than 60 per iOS device today. Sometime later this year, the number of app downloads since 2008 will overtake the number of songs downloaded since 2003.

Of course, we pay for the music we buy from iTunes, while most of those apps are free. But there is money to be made supplying both kinds of content, and on Monday Dediu took a crack at estimating how much.

His conclusion: Apple has paid more than $2 billion to third-party app developers and about $12 billion to the music labels. To see his math, click here.


I wrote about the app economy a few weeks ago. Here we have another example. Just from Apple – $2 billion to developers for products that did not exist 3 years ago. How many markets go from zero to $2 billion in that time?

The ability of groups to generate capital with rapid creative cycles drives this. It is not built on monolithic applications that take years and hundred of man-hours to develop. Quick, rapid and fast are the hallmarks of this economy.