iPad users don’t mind paying for news

According to new research, iPad users are forking over plenty of money to read their favorite digital publications on Apple’s(s AAPL) tablet. In the U.S., the top 100 grossing publications distributed within Apple’s Newsstand app are making more than $70,000 per day, according to Distimo’s research, at least for the month of February. That’s pretty decent for a product that launched a little over five months ago.
In February, the five publications pulling in the most money in the U.S. were the The Daily (an iPad-only publication), the New York Times, The New Yorker, National Geographic and Cosmopolitan.
The Newsstand app itself is a free download from the iOS App Store. Within the app users can pay to subscribe to digital versions of newspapers and magazines. There is some free content available, but users don’t seem to mind paying for access to their news on Apple’s tablet. This is certainly good news for publishers, but also for Apple, which takes a 30 percent cut from all sales through its store.
While games have long been one of the most popular apps people are willing to pay for — when it comes to the iPad, half of the most popular paid apps are games, Distimo says — Newsstand apps, driven by in-app purchases, are beginning to gain some momentum too. Distimo found:

When we look at free applications, the Entertainment and Games categories have been popular since launch, but recently the Newsstand category has started to gain a lot of traction. This category is also bringing in a substantial proportion of the revenue, with over 7% of the top 200 grossing applications coming from this category.

Source: Distimo

There were signs early on that Newsstand was working out well for some of the top publishers. Publisher of third highest-grossing Newsstand app The New Yorker, Condé Nast reported that its digital publishing revenue had spiked 268 percent in the two weeks after Newsstand debuted on iOS 5 devices in October.