Revenues from Android apps saw tremendous growth in 2013. If you look at the headline global figures then revenues from Android apps on Google Play are rapidly closing on those from iOS apps on the App Store. It looks extremely likely that 2014 is the year that Android will overtake iOS in total app revenues. However, dig a little deeper and you’ll find the distribution of revenues, both geographically and across apps is rather different. If you’re planning your platform strategy for this year then a dive into the details might prove invaluable.
The most popular revenue models appear to be those that are easiest to implement. The developers using them tend to have lower revenues. This may be due to greater competition or it might just be a result of less sophisticated app businesses producing less valuable apps. There are some interesting differences between platforms but subscriptions appear to be a relatively untapped gold mine everywhere, although maybe not for everyone.
The mobile apps business is maturing and while most of the media attention is still focussed on the latest app store success stories, developers are finding lots of better ways to make revenue with their apps. Considering all revenue sources, which categories of application are generating the most money and what’s the competition like on each platform?
4 out of 5 developers admit that their app doesn’t make enough money to be considered a standalone business. 2 out of 3 doesn’t break even. And yet there is hope.
How do app developer revenues vary by country, or platform? Does the number of platforms make a difference to app revenues? Which models bring in the most revenues? We revisit Andreas Pappas’ November analysis of app monetisation with more insights from our Developer Economics 2013 survey across 3,400+ developers.
While not all developers are in it for the money, most would like their apps to provide an income and the majority of those struggle to earn revenues that will sustain further development. We defined $500 per app per month as a reasonable global “poverty line”, in some countries this is very low while in […]
In our January 2013 Developer Economics Report, we revealed that multi-platform developers are better off. Our survey data also reveals, rather unsurprisingly, that users of cross-platform tools (CPTs) target more platforms than those building separate apps for each platform. Of those interested in making money, users of CPTs target 4.33 platforms (3.1 mobile platforms) on average vs 3.46 platforms (2.57 mobile) for those building separate apps. We also know that…
2012 was another big growth year for mobile apps. Apple continued to launch new products, sell them in ever greater volumes and distribute more revenue to developers. Meanwhile Google overhauled their market and developer revenues climbed sharply. Android developers also saw the Amazon Appstore expand and become a serious second revenue source. Developers who created quality apps and marketed them well were richly rewarded. However, for many developers the major challenge of getting their apps discovered by users only got worse. How is 2013 likely to compare? Will app revenues continue to grow at similar rates and will those revenues keep concentrating in the hands of fewer publishers?
74% of developers use two or more platforms concurrently. At the same time, developer platform choices are now narrowing. On average mobile developers use 2.6 mobile platforms in our latest research, compared to 2.7 in 2012 and 3.2 in our 2011
research. The Android-iOS duopoly in smartphone sales is gradually creating a concentration of developers around these two platforms: 80% of respondents in our sample develop for Android, iOS or both, making them the baseline in any platform mix. Developers that do not develop for one of these two platforms generate, on average, half the revenue of those developers that do, leaving little doubt as to the concentration of power within these two major ecosystems.