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Apple’s iTunes Business is Larger Than Most Major Media Companies

Apple’s iTunes Business is Larger Than Most Major Media Companies

There can be no doubt that the iTunes Store has revolutionized the music industry since it was unveiled in 2003 – and like many of Apple’s better ideas, it has since ballooned into something much larger than anyone would have imagined. In fact, according to Bloomberg writer Edmund Lee, Apple’s iTunes business alone is larger than most major media companies!

 Bloomberg (via TUAW):

[…]Apple not only has a significant media business, it’s bigger than most major media companies — and possibly at their expense.

By itself, Apple’s iTunes (which was just updated) and App stores, which hawk everything from movies and music to books and newspaper subscriptions, make more money than The New York Times; Simon & Schuster, which publishes the best-selling “Steve Jobs” biography; Warner Bros. film studios, which owns the popular Batman film franchise; and Time Inc., the largest magazine publisher in the U.S.


According to the article, Apple raked in an impressive $8.5 billion from its various media stores – including the iTunes Store, and Mac and iOS App Stores. In comparison, the New York Times, Simon & Schuster, Warner Bros. Studios, and Time Inc. brought in a combined $8.3 billion.

The secret to Apple success, of course, is that they take a share of the profits from all of the content other companies offer through their stores, enabling them to grow even larger at the expense of other media companies. That all adds up to a very pleasing bottom line for Apple.

There are still several media companies that dwarf iTunes in comparison, however, such as News Corp. and Disney – but that may not last for long, as iTunes is growing significantly faster than all of the other media companies – a 35% per annum increase!

It’s amazing how much can happen in less than a decade. Apple grew from a dwindling, practically doomed company to a truly Titanic-like empire, and the iTunes Store went from not existing at all to growing into perhaps the most significant influence on the media world of all time.



  1. Frankinator says:

    I thought the secret to Apple’s success was that you had to buy from their store if you want to use it on your iDevice.

    However, I’ve heard what the share of profits between artist and Apple is, and it’s very impressive. Kudos to them for actually giving artists a fair go unlike the big record companies.

    However Android gives it’s developers 100% of the profits (less the one-off registration fee). Not sure about music and other media sales, but it’s still pretty good.

    The short is, don’t discount other online media outlets, because Apple won’t always be top dog.

  2. R. Schumacher says:

    I think you meant $8.5 billion not $8.5 million

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