How to beat 2/3rds of app competitors

Our mission here at Developer Economics is to help developers create a better app business. A recent survey from App Promo highlights the pain points once again, and offers some hints about the solution.

Let’s start with the bad news…

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. This confirms our results from the Developer Economics 2013 report, where 67% of developers who want to earn money live under the App Poverty line (revenues of less than $500 per month).

Despite these disconcerting numbers, and despite developers indicating discovery, making money and turning the app into a business as the main challenges, most developers undervalue the importance of marketing their applications. According to the App Promo survey, 2 out of 3 developers don’t have a marketing budget, and a quarter of developers doesn’t market their app at all.

And yet there is hope. A full 81% of developers said that they would not abandon their app. App Promo found that the survivors (experienced developers with apps that are over 3 years in the market) have succeeded in creating an interesting app business. They report revenues earned to date of over half a million, 100% of them breaks even and 78% considers their app successful enough for a standalone business. And yes, they do market their apps: over half of the respondents in this group has marketing budgets of over $1000 per month.

App Promo’s results also include differences between platforms, the use of various revenue models and marketing techniques, and more. The full results can be downloaded here.

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Stijn Schuermans

As a Senior Business Analyst, Stijn focuses on understanding how technology becomes value-creating innovation, how business models affect market dynamics, and the consequences of this for corporate strategy. He is the lead Internet of Things researcher in the VisionMobile team. He has been writing about IoT since 2012.

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