60% Of App Developers Earn Less Than $500/App Monthly

For the 6th edition of their Developer Economics report, Vision Mobile surveyed over 7,000 app developers from 127 countries, US, China, India, Israel, UK and Russia and stretching all the way to Kenya, Brasil and Jordan.

The global app economy is projected to grow from $68 billion in 2013 to $143 billion in 2016. Out of a total global mobile developer population of 2.3 million individuals in 2013, Asia has the most app developer citizens at 760,000 individuals.

Mobile app developers have two dominant types of business models:

– Apps as a product, where money is being made via paid downloads, in-app purchases, or contract development.
– Apps as a channel, where revenues are generated indirectly via cross-app promotion, brand promotion and e-commerce.

The report reveals that 60% of developers are below the “app poverty line”, i.e. earn less than $500 per app per month.

revenue model apps Contract development generated over half (56%) of the app economy for 2013 and is now the most popular revenue model, 26% of app developers now developing apps on commission for tens of thousands of brands that entered the mobile arena. The median revenues for developers building apps for others is $1,500 per app/month.

In-app advertising remains one of most popular revenue models at 26% of app developers, particularly strong on platforms where demand for direct purchases is weak, such as Windows Phone and Android. Median revenues of organisations involved in e-Commerce are $2,750 per app/month, by far the highest among all app revenue models.

Use of e-Commerce as a revenue model for apps grew significantly, from 5% of app developers in Q3 2013 to 8% in Q1 2014. When it comes to looking at how revenues are influenced by the platform, iOS has a larger “middle class” than Android.

ios - android ios pays better

Developers that build apps for iOS earn on average between $500 and $1000 per app / month, which is way more than those on Android who earn $100 – $200 per app / month. As Android continues to grow in mid/low-end handset segments, this trend is set to continue. For more stats on the app development economy, checkout the full report here: http://www.developereconomics.com/reports/q1-2014/

Written by Flavius Saracut
Flavius is the Marketing Manager and Co-founder of Mobiversal, mobile app development company working with startups and established brands like Forbes to create unique mobile experiences. Mobiversal is also the maker of Appointfix. Connect with him on Twitter @FlaviusSaracut.

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