Stop Making Apps! New Study Shows Why You Can’t Make Money Off Developing Anymore


The app bubble has finally burst. Or at least started to. New numbers coming out of a massive app development study show that there is now a “one percenter” group of developers sucking in most of the revenue and almost half of other developers make next to zero dollars.

The study was conducted by VisionMobile and surveyed over 10,000 app developers. Here are the point by point takeaways:

  • 1.6% of all developers have an app earning more than $500,000 per month.

  • 88% of all developers take in only 11% of all app revenues.

  • 24% of app developers make no money. 47% make less than $100 a month.

  • 64% of Android app developers live below the app poverty line (<$500/ month).

  • 50% of iOS app developers live below the app poverty line.

  • 33% of developers make games.

  • 40% of all downloads are games.

  • 80% of store revenues are from games.

  • 57% of games make less than $500 a month.

  • 24% of app developers are independent developers designing as a side hobby.

  • 23% of app developers are building a business and designing primarily for money.

  • Only 16% of developers design apps on commission.

  • 5% of developers are mobile startup entrepreneurs looking for venture capital investments.

According to VisionMobile:

“The revenue distribution is so heavily skewed towards the top that just 1.6% of developers make multiples of the other 98.4% combined.”

With over a million apps in the App Store and 1.3 million in Google Play, it’s easy to see how the value of any future app is quickly dwindling. The main moneymakers are now anchored and reaping in the cash. Despite the stories of ridiculous app ideas getting funded (i.e. the Yo. App), the novelty (it IS a novelty) of creating an app as an entrepreneur will quickly dwindle for many if it hasn’t already. The study’s conclusion found that:

“It seems extremely unlikely the market can sustain anything like the current level of developers for many more years.”

This is an interesting development considering that Mark Zuckerberg believes the future of Facebook is in embracing the image of a mobile app development platform.

Had an app idea on the back burner? It better be THE game changer, otherwise all you app entrepreneurs out there better move on to the next “big thing.”

H/T: ValleyWag
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