Apple has a "significant media business" that is bigger than most major media companies, and yet the company doesn't make any of its own content, instead making the majority of its media income from the 30% percent commission it receives from sales in its iTunes and App stores, notes a report.

According to the Bloomberg report, Apple’s took more than $8.5 billion via its media storefronts in the fiscal year 2012 (which ended in September). By comparison the revenue of The New York Times, publisher Simon & Schuster, Warner Bros film studios, and magazine publisher Time Inc, combined, added up to $8.2 billion in the same period.

The report goes on to note that Apple’s content business doesn’t compare to the likes of News Corp, which generated $33.88 billion in sales during Apple’s fiscal year. (Incidentally, read: News Corp. shuts down The Daily). Similarly, Disney took in more than $42.28 billion.

So why is Apple able to demand a 30% commission from media companies, potentially making money at their expense, asks the report. Credit Suisse Group analyst Talal Khan suggests that the 435 million individual iTunes accounts stored in the company’s database is the reason why Apple is able to demand such terms from media companies.  

Follow Karen Haslam on Twitter / Follow MacworldUK on Twitter

Related:

Apple CEO Steve Jobs is most powerful media pioneer

Apple's iTunes 11 adds evidence to 2013 launch of 'iRadio' music streaming service

Users spot broken links, graphics bugs and other issues in iTunes 11

Pandora, royalty collection service wrangle over musicians' fees

Apple iTunes 11 available for download via Software Update

iOS app revenues still four times higher than Android, but Play store growing fast