The majority of respondents to a recent survey indicated that they are not yet breaking even with the revenue they are generating with their app compared to the costs of operating it and 81% are not making enough money to consider their app a standalone business. However, 81% of respondents stressed that they are not considering abandoning their app.
The headline conclusion from App Promo's 2013 Survey, which gathered evidence from 365 developers over a 21-day period, closing on May 5, 2013, is Slow and Steady Wins the Race
- the title of its White Paper.
App Promo found that developers with apps that have been in the market for 3 years or more are earning total revenues exceeding $500,000+ and attributes this success to "marketing efforts with budgets of at least $1,000 a month". This is hardly an impartial finding given that App Promo offers a paid service designed to:
increase discovery, optimize revenue and better position applications to set them up for success.
The differences between the "Newbie Developers" with less than 6 months in the market and "Experienced Developers" with over 3 years there is shown in this table:
While there is a marked difference in the revenue earned, less than $1000 compared to $500,000+, 77% of the newbie developers claimed they were at least breaking even, compared to 100% of experienced ones. 87% of newbies do not consider their app a standalone business but only 16% of them were thinking of giving up on their app. Surprisingly a bigger proportion (22%) of experienced developers were at the point of giving up - the same proportion as had failed to make their app a standalone business.
More findings from the survey are included in this infographic:
Click for hi-res version
The infographic includes some of the differences between Apple and Android developers and there is more information in this table which suggests that Android developers are having an even harder time than their iOS counterparts - a finding App Promo suggests is down to Android developers not investing in marketing.
Even so 80% of Android developers are not considering abandoning their apps, compared to 75% of iOS developers which does suggest that developers are tenacious and not easily deterred.