According to our latest developer research, 20% of mobile app developers primarily target enterprises. This decision produces a significant boost to their revenues, with 43% making more than $10K per month versus 19% of those who target consumers above the same revenue level. Similarly at the $100K+ per month revenue level we have 18% of developers who target enterprises versus just 7% of those who target consumers. Aside from selling to businesses, government or non-profit organisations rather than consumers, what are these developers doing differently?
King and Halfbrick Studios are some of the most successful mobile game developers. Their best-selling games, i.e. Candy Crash Saga (King) and Fruit Ninja (Halfbrick), rate in the 100M – 500M download tier on Google Play and rank among the Top 100 on iTunes. Did you ever wonder which tools they use and how they compare? Do they use the same SDKs available to the rest of us mortal developers and what can we learn from their tooling choices?
The rise of freemium games has been ferociously quick and it continues to accelerate at an incredible pace. It’s estimated that adults now spend, on average, 5 hours and 46 minutes online and on their mobile devices. Time spent online has now surpassed time spend watching TV.
The app stores created an opportunity for any developer to build their own products and reach a global audience with them. For some developers this offered the promise of an independent app business, giving them creative control of their work and hopefully a comfortable income. Recently there have been lots of posts (great summary list inside) from current and former independent app developers about the state of the market and how much harder it is to earn a living from your own apps.
So you want to start a business developing apps? Or maybe you have an app business but want some advice on how to grow or improve it? Simply building an app and publishing it on app store as a paid download is extremely likely to result in disappointment.
In an earlier post we showed how enterprise app developers make 4 times the revenue of those developing consumer apps on average. Targeting enterprises with apps can be very different from building consumer apps and not all developers prioritise revenue, so it’s not for everyone.
Do you want the indie developer lifestyle, or to build a company? What sort of contact do you want to have with your customers? Do you like consulting work or do you prefer to build your own products full time? Do you have a strong development platform preference? Depending on your answers to these questions you might find one of the 4 reasons below keeps you focussed on consumer apps for the foreseeable future.
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?
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.