But with so much competition, how can one person — sans a huge marketing budget — possibly stand out and have a hit? In other words, they need help.
However, there are a lot of developers out there and a decent fraction of them make a good living, some are building thriving businesses on the app stores and a few at the top are even creating multi-billion dollar companies. There are two major risks when analysing groups of successful individuals or companies to try to work out why they succeed when others fail; the first is survivorship bias — ignoring the many failures that may have done exactly the same things, the second is confusing correlation with causation.
In the latter case there are many things that developers do because they have a successful app, like porting it to lots of other platforms, that are completely unrelated to how they became successful in the first place. In our last report we showed two major factors that correlate with higher revenues, targeting enterprises rather than consumers and using 3rd party tools.
The former is almost certainly a direct cause of financial success, the later is probably indirectly related, tool use indicates a more sophisticated approach to app development as a business. There are many more factors that can make quite a significant difference to the chances of financial success with apps, so lets take a look at some of them.
This is a revenue level that would allow a single app to support a developer in the US or Western Europe but is below a typical employed developer salary in those places. In some countries it would support a whole team living very comfortably. How much more likely are developers to be earning above this level depending on which platforms, categories and device types they target or what revenue models they use?
Looking at overall revenues from the platform or the earnings of the very top developers, this may be the case.
Some even earn more on Android than iOS. Despite the decreasing popularity, targeting the mobile browser is quite far ahead of building Android apps too. In this case though, many targeting the mobile browser may already have successful desktop web businesses, so this might not be so easy to replicate for those starting new businesses.
Windows Phone and BlackBerry 10 are both offering very low chances of a decent financial return as primary platforms. Despite the many reports of fitness trackers ending up unused in drawers after a few months, health and fitness related apps are doing quite well.
The success of the communications and social networking category at this revenue level is slightly counter-intuitive, this is a category with significant network effects favouring a few big winners. These bottom categories are pulled down by their popularity with hobbyists, giving full-time professionals targeting these categories a lot of free competition.
Device types Smart TVs and set-top boxes are a surprise leader in terms of device types to target first. The Internet of Things is also unexpected at number 2 considering how immature the market is.
It may be the case that hardware sales are involved in many of the higher revenue earning businesses here, in which case there are much higher costs associated than for pure software businesses.
There are likely to be several factors involved here; less competition, more tablet apps targeting enterprises and with the reliance on free apps making most of their money from a small fraction of users, it can pay to provide an optimum experience for the heavy users on a larger form factor.
This last point is valid right up to the highest revenue levels — Supercell have built their games tablet first with a scaled down experience on smartphones. Revenue models At the top of the revenue model tree is per device royalties or licensing fees.
This is likely to be a mixture of enterprise apps and successful apps that have managed to get pre-installs on devices. This is a highly desirable revenue source but certainly not available to all apps.
Contracting gives a decent chance of making higher revenues but of course the app belongs to whoever it is built for, so the upside is also very limited. These models are often harder to implement but our data suggests that the effort is likely to be worth it if they can fit the app concept.
There is very little difference between the two revenue models at this level of revenue. This is a very strong contrast with the total amount of revenue earned through each of those models. Conclusion and warning There are a number of different ways you can target your apps and select your revenue model to increase your chances of financial success.
Our analysis in the State of the Developer Nation report has also shown that some of these combine in an additive way, for example, building enterprise apps for iOS has very high chances of financial success.
He's also a project leader with a focus on lean methods and a consultant who loves rapid prototyping, app economics and business models.There are likely to be several factors involved here; less competition, more tablet apps targeting enterprises and with the reliance on free apps making most of their money from a small fraction of users, it can pay to provide an optimum experience for the heavy users on a larger form factor.
Creating a successful Android app is a goal worth pursuing. If you can create a genuine hit, then you’ll have a source of passive income that can generate money while you sleep for years to come. Aug 10, · Android's substantial lead in offering free apps cuts deeply into the average revenue paid out to developers while the smaller availability of free apps on the Windows platform may work to its.
Best apps for making money on Android Authored by: Nicholas Montegriffo 2 months ago When you look at your phone, you probably think about spending money rather than . Aug 10, · How Much Do Average Apps Make? in terms of total number of apps and money paid to developers.
impact of free apps on those marketplaces. Android's substantial lead in offering free apps. Introducing: Making Money With Android Wiki October 4, by David Webb Over the past few years, the blog and forums have facilitated some great discussions .