Apple saves print media? Newsstand applications earning $70,000 a day on iPad

Is the publishing industry seeing its rebirth at the hands of Apple? According to the latest report from Distimo, the top 100 iPad apps in the Newsstand category are now earning more than $70,000 a day combined.

The company found that seven percent of the top 200 grossing iPad applications in February 2012 were Newsstand apps — aka magazines and newspapers. Of those well known, national publications like The Daily, The New York Times, The New Yorker, National Geographic and Cosmopolitan Magazine were the highest grossing overall.

Newsstand apps are downloaded for free and monetize when readers purchase single issues or subscriptions via in-app purchases. After Apple’s 30 percent cut, publishers were taking home $49,000 a day last month.

Although $49,000 a day split between the top 100 Newsstand apps isn’t much in the grand scheme of things for the publishing industry, Distimo’s finding show that consumers on the iPad are not only interested in reading premium content from newspapers and magazines, they’re willing to pay for it too. That’s good news for an industry that has been hit hard by shifting media consumption habits and a downturn in spending on print advertising.

Apple introduced the Newsstand app six months ago with iOS 5. While some publishers had already tested the waters of the iPad ecosystem with digital versions of their publications or iPad only products, since Newsstand the category has gained significant traction. According to Distimo’s study, in February there were more Newsstand apps in the top grossing iPad charts than weather, book, reference or photography apps.