Could Apple App Store Enter Mainstream Faster Than iTunes' Music?

Posted by: Olga Kharif on April 07, 2009

Researcher ComScore today came out with its first report on demographics of Apple App Store users. Turns out, 35% of all App Store users have a household income of at least $100,000. And 54% of buyers of mobile applications for the iPhone and iPod touch have household incomes of $75,000 or more. What does that say about App Store’s traction? The App Store seems to be attracting a wider swath of users than the iTunes music store, which debuted in 2001, did in its early years.

Here’s why: Back in 2005, when online music downloads were just starting to take off, consultant NPD found that people who downloaded songs from iTunes and other music services had average household incomes of $83,000. Back-of-the-envelope calculations using data from ComScore show that, today, average household income of an App Store user must be right around that amount. And the App Store has only been around for less than a year, while, at the time of the NPD study, the iTunes music store was already four years old. The take-away: The App Store is moving into the mass market faster than the online music service did.

Clearly, mobile applications — and data services in general — are still far beyond the reach of an average American. According to 2007 census, an average American household has an income of $50,233. But if today’s trends continue, more Americans may start buying mobile apps sooner than they started buying digital tunes. Good news for Apple all around.

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Reader Comments

www.independentconsultant.com

April 8, 2009 10:54 AM

The historical average income figures are no longer true because of the economy and lost jobs.

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BusinessWeek writers Peter Burrows, Cliff Edwards, Olga Kharif, Aaron Ricadela, Douglas MacMillan, and Spencer Ante dig behind the headlines to analyze what’s really happening throughout the world of technology. One of the first mainstream media tech blogs, Tech Beat covers everything from tech bellwethers like Apple, Google, and Intel and emerging new leaders such as Facebook to new technologies, trends, and controversies.

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