iPhone apps now more popular than major TV shows

iPhone apps now more popular than major TV shows and sports broadcasts http://tinyurl.com/352at7h

In-App Purchases Yield More Revenue Than Mobile Ads http://tinyurl.com/24k6d75 Apps have bigger audiences and more revenue than ads. Mmmm

These two stories have been hanging around for a while for me to comment on.

The daily audience for apps that run on Apple’s iOS operating system (for the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad) has now surpassed 19 million users, who spend an average of 22 minutes per day using these apps, according to one measure. That means the audience for the iOS devices is now bigger than NBC’s Sunday Night Football and is just shy of the audience for ABC’s Dancing with the Stars. Only 4 million daily viewers separate the iOS audience from that of the No. 1-ranked TV show, Fox’s American Idol, according to data collected by analytics firm Flurry.

<snip> Based on its own estimates, Flurry believes that the iOS is already bigger than all the TV shows if you consider the entire iOS audience.

The article goes on to talk about the influence on advertising revenue before pointing out that this is in aggregate: there is not yet a single app whose audience is so big that it can match the audience of a single most-popular TV show. And that’s a lot of the problem. If in the 1940’s each network had required a different receiver or box (or app) Broadcast TV would never have caught on. This is the biggest problem with Internet delivered media now.

But the advertising issue should worry TV networks (broadcast and cable) as they see their dominance being challenged. In-App revenue is exceeding mobile advertising revenue. In-App revenue can include pay-for-view; virtual goods, upgrades and a range of other options. Advertising is just annoying.

A look at the chart below shows that for the month of September, the average monthly advertising revenue is roughly $1 per app user. For virtual good sales, however, the revenue per user is closer to $8.

Flurry data also highlights that, as of February, mobile advertising revenue per user has remained flat, while in-app purchases are trending upward. “During 2010 … revenue increasingly shifts from advertising to virtual goods sales until reaching a proportion of more than 80% from virtual goods,” according to the report.