iPad Day One: Charts Show Big Media Mostly Playing In Free Apps, Not Paid

So day one of iPad launch almost over — though West Coast’s still in full swing — no estimates on how many iPads have sold, but it is instructive to see how the charts for iPad apps are doing. The big hope that it would be the savior of big media isn’t bearing out yet, though admittedly, it is too early. Most of the media companies, besides the select few Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) roped in for the launch, haven’t even launched their apps yet. One big trend that’s apparent: big media and entertainment companies are doing very well in top free apps, but are barely present in top paid apps, whether by number of apps downloaded, or by the gross revenues from their apps.

But wait a sec, wasn’t this supposed to be the platform for big media’s paid strategy? What happened? Again, stretching the analysis a bit in these early hours after the launch, one guess is that users realize they can get all the big media content on their browsers anyway, so what’s the point in paying for them, nevermind all the whizbang and interactivity the apps provide. The Safari browser is a full browser, like the iPhone/iTouch, but it is also a bigger, more legible screen. It doesn’t take rocket science to extrapolate from here. We’ll see if this holds true in a month or two, when a fuller array of apps will be available.

Click on the image below to see top charts in news, entertainment, lifestyle, sports, social networking, finance and reference categories, sectors where most of the media/entertainment companies play.