Traditional Media a Bust at Apple App Store

Few traditional media companies to date have scored major success in the Apple App Store, the increasingly popular outlet where outside programmers and developers can launch programs or tools—i.e. applications– specially-designed for iPhone users.
That’s according to a new report issued by comScore, which found that games dominate the Apple App Store, based on comScore’s ranking of the top 25 downloaded applications. That ranking is headlined by Tapulous’s game Tap Tap Revenge, which has been downloaded by one of every three App Store user (32 percent).
Overall, comScore found that 12 of the 25 top apps were games, with the total number of app users is growing nearly ten percent each month. Besides Tap Tap (number one), the list includes familiar titles like Pac-man (number five, with a hefty 24 percent penetration) and Sudoku (number 24, 14 percent penetration), and more often iPhone originals like iBowl (number 6, also 24 percent).
As for traditional media, the most recognizable names in comScore’s top 25 apps listings are companies born on the Web. Despite efforts to embrace the space, no apps from publishers like the New York Times or broadcasters like CBS appear on the list. Instead, the media players which cracked the top 25 include Facebook (number four with 26 percent penetration of the app user base), News Corp.’s MySpace (number 7, with 23 percent penetration) and Google (number eight with 22 percent).
Perhaps surprisingly, the open, viral nature of the App store makes it easier for small time publishers and developers to break out, despite the lack of built-in brand recognition. “It’s impressive that a game like Tapulous’s Tap Tap Revenge can attract a higher penetration among Apple app users than apps for larger and more established brands,” said Brian Jurutka, vp, comScore. “Tap Tap’s success demonstrates that there is ample opportunity in the app space for any publisher to obtain significant distribution with a product that engages users,”
Less surprising are iPhone app users’ demographics—given the price of the device and its tech cache (Apple has reported selling over 11 million 3G iPhones through the end of 2008). comScore noted that app store users are 32 percent more likely than average to earn over $100,000 per year and 54 percent earn more than $75,000 per year.  
Plus, this crowd is big on Web surfing, particularly for gaming content and communications. ComScore found apps users three times more likely than the average Internet user to visit sites like IGN Entertainment, GameStop, AddictingGames and Xbox.com, among others. Similar they are three times as likely to log onto platforms like AOL Instant Messenger, Twitter.com and Digg.com.