Pandora and Spotify were among the top moneymakers on Apple’s App Store globally in August, according to the latest report by app analytics firm App Annie.

Its stats suggest that Pandora was actually the second biggest-grossing iOS apps publisher in the world that month, behind only Japanese social network Line. And this, despite Pandora’s revenues coming almost entirely from one country: the US.

Meanwhile, Spotify was the seventh top-grossing iOS publisher in the world in August, thanks to in-app purchases of subscriptions.

App Annie also noted a strong performance for Beats Music in the US – less clear from its publisher rankings, as it now falls under Apple’s umbrella, and that company has other lucrative iOS apps.

A glance at today’s Top Grossing chart in the US App Store provides more detail on this: at the time of writing Pandora is the third top grossing iPhone app in the US, behind only games Clash of Clans and Candy Crush Saga. Spotify’s app takes 11th spot in that chart, while Beats Music is 41st.

If you’re underwhelmed, remember that for any non-game app to crack the top 50 grossing iPhone apps is a big achievement. It may sound like faint praise to cheer the fact that Spotify is outgrossing Kim Kardashian: Hollywood (13th in the rankings), Boom Beach (15th) and Pet Rescue Saga (16th) but it’s nevertheless a very encouraging sign for the music industry.

When Apple originally introduced in-app purchases (IAP) on iOS – taking a 30% revenue share and barring companies from taking people’s money directly in-app by other means – there was a general expectation that music wouldn’t benefit from any IAP boom. That assumption appears to have been wrong.

That said, don’t forget the real winner here, as in most things happening on its platform: Apple. Its 30% revenue share of any subscription payments made to other streaming services through its platform is not only a quietly-growing income for the company, but also important data to help it decide when the time is right to make its next move into streaming.

And, of course, it has first-hand data from Beats Music now too. Pandora and Spotify may be making good money from in-app purchases on iOS, but they’re also helping Apple to refine its future iTunes strategy.

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Music Ally's Head of Insight