Modeling Apple iTunes and App Store EPS Potential

app store mathYesterday’s “Applevine” post on Metue summarized some of the current Apple reports and rumors circling the news world.  One of the elements included was a recap, and light review, of newly reported data on how the new iPhone supporting “App Store” is doing.   The numbers were impressive and there is clearly great potential but the take here was cautionary; a bias toward pragmatism with predictions.  One month seems too slight a sample to use for accurately forecasting revenue growth or impact on EPS.  A few raised flags of dissent. 

One comment speculatively said the store could be a 80 to 85 percent gross margin business.  Another said that the store could add as much as ten or twenty cents to quarterly earnings per share.  Those numbers weren’t supported.  They were just “pie in the sky claims,” but still they are out there and they beg a question: what’s the App Store potentially worth – not qualitatively, not from a behavioral analysis, not from a zealous Apple fan, nor from a detractor – simply by the numbers.  If we set aside the opinion that one month of data is too little to be meaningful and use it anyway, if we break out the Graham & Dodd, fire up the spreadsheets, how much of a contribution could the App Store make to Apple’s bottom line if the current levels are annualized?  It’s got a great revenue story but how much for earnings?

How much might the App Store contribute to earnings per share if the store’s revenue grows to $500m, or passes $1 Billion? 

What might it mean to Apple shareholders on a standalone basis that disregards the store’s greater contribution as a driver of iPhone (and iPod Touch) sales?

There’s no easy answers, but in this post we’re going to try and set out a framework for looking at it – a way of adding numbers to wild speculation. 

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Applevine News: Consolidated Appstore, iPhone and Macbook Rumors

iphone salesIn politics, or even for the reign of a new CEO, one hundred and eighty days are the usual benchmark for the first measurements of achievement.  In the consumer electronics world, with the instant gratification generation of the Internet driving things, the pace is far quicker.  It’s been only a month since Apple unveiled the iPhone 3G to the world but measurements are flowing.  And like a blockbuster movie touting weekend box office tallies to sustain momentum, Apple too is shrewdly using the press to maintain and build buzz for the phone.

Today, Apple announced that more than 60 million applications have been downloaded at the new “Appstore.”  Click to Read More

Project Kangaroo Delayed Further

Every major TV broadcast company seems to be exploring video on demand services but some are having a harder time than others. It appears the UK’s VOD joint venture between BBC Worldwide, ITV and Channel 4 has been delayed again.

The Project Kangaroo offering, which has been called the UK’s replication of Hulu (a joint venture between News Corp and NBC Universal, was stalled in June to allow for an antitrust review by the Competition Commission (“CC”).

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Data Dump: Industry Statistics By the Numbers

numbersFrom market research firms and trade groups, there are so many projections, forecasts and numbers thrown to the airwaves that it can become really difficult to keep track. To ease the burden, we periodically consolidate the info to one report. We’ve done comparative stats that put numbers in a context , and we’ve industry specific data dumps. This latest editionof the occasional "Metue: By The Numbers" report is a buffet from across the media, entertainment and technology sector. There’s a little on publishing, a little on web usage, some gaming data, TV… something for all interests. Metue By the Numbers:

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Measuring Music: NPDs Top 5 US Retailers

music measureMarket research firm NPD Group is known for systematically tracking retail sales.  Among other things, they periodically report on gaming and music. This week, the company announced their compiled list of the top five U.S. music retailers for the first half of the year.

Assembled from six months of MusicWatch surveys, the list measures the best selling retail stores in the U.S. across the combined digital and brick & mortar landscape.   By methodology, twelve downloaded singles are counted as the equivalent to one CD. 

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Media Earnings Recap: News Corp, Marvel and Time Warner

earnings wrapWith most of the big names in the media/tech space reported, it’s been an up and down earnings season.   There have been some hits and some misses.  There’s been some positive guidance and some suspect.  Now three of the remaining big names have reported their performances.  Summing them up, here’s the tally from News Corp., Marvel Entertainment and Time Warner:

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Courts Approve Remote Storage DVRs

copyright crosshairsCopyright law is a funny beast.  Even in its most recent incarnations, freshly stamped with Congressional approval, it rarely keeps pace with changing business models and new invention.  It’s evolutionary law subject to seemingly constant interpretation (and re-interpretation) to match legislative intent to new market paradigms.  A case in point: in March 2007, the U.S. District Court in New York ruled a digital video recorder (DVR) that used remote storage instead of a local hard drive violated copyright laws.  Yesterday, the U.S. Court of Appeals (2nd Circuit) reversed the ruling and said Cablevision’s planned remote storage DVR (RS-DVR) is legal.

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