Apple’s App Store Bigger Than Hollywood Box Office
Business + Economy

Apple’s App Store Bigger Than Hollywood Box Office

On Tuesday, Apple posted the largest quarterly profit of any company in history. Its $18 billion net income, up from $13 billion a year ago, is mainly due to selling 74.5 million iPhones in the quarter, volume that CEO Tim Cook called “hard to comprehend.”

Also hard to comprehend is Apple’s ripple effects on the broader U.S. economy.

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To help explain, it’s worth taking a look at some data rounded up by analyst Horace Dediu last week. His chart shows App store billings accelerated by 50 percent in 2014 to surpass U.S. box office revenues.

That’s right, according to Dediu, apple’s App Store is now bigger than Hollywood.

Growth really started accelerating in 2013, but doesn’t seem to be slowing. Apple users spent $500 million in the App Store in the first week of January, Dediu notes. Since the App Store opened in 2008, it has paid out about $25 billion to developers. It paid out $10 billion in 2014 alone, he calculates.

Based on Apple’s payments to developers, he says apps are a “bigger digital content business” than music, TV and movies combined.

Dediu, who founded research firm Asymco, has a few other metrics to show the app economy is now bigger than Hollywood. He estimates that 627,000 jobs have been created by the App Store, more than the 374,000 people currently employed in Hollywood.

“The curious thing,” he notes, “is that even though the medium of apps is swamping other forms of entertainment in all measurable ways, comprehension of the phenomenon is lagging.”

Maybe app developers need their own version of the Oscars.

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