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Businesses IOS The Almighty Buck Apple

Apple App Store Developers Earned $20 Billion in 2016, Up 40 Percent Year Over Year (cnbc.com) 26

Apple said Thursday its App Store generated $20 billion for developers in 2016, a 40 percent increase from 2015, helped by the popularity of games such as Pokemon Go and Super Mario Run and increased revenue from subscriptions. From a report on CNBC: "2016 was an amazingly great year for the App Store," Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of worldwide marketing, told CNBC. "We continue to advance what is available for developers to create. And our catalog of apps grew 20 percent to 2.2 million." Schiller said the biggest drivers for the App Store included games such as "Pokemon Go," which was the most downloaded app in 2016; "Super Mario," which was the most downloaded app on Christmas and New Year's days; and subscription-based apps, such as Netflix, Hulu and Time Warner's HBO Go. The tech giant said its biggest day of sales on the App Store was on Jan. 1, 2017, when customers spent a record $240 million. The top grossing markets included the U.S, U.K., Japan and China, which saw 90 percent year-over-year growth.
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Apple App Store Developers Earned $20 Billion in 2016, Up 40 Percent Year Over Year

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  • I get a feeling that while they are including all app devs, the money generated was really only though a small group of devs producing handfull of apps. Would really be interested in what the average 'per development house' take was. As well as the earnings median.

    • by ranton ( 36917 ) on Thursday January 05, 2017 @11:10AM (#53610305)

      Yes, a histogram showing the earnings of each development house (which sell apps that make revenue) by their percentage of the total App Store earnings, would give a better picture of how well most app developers are doing. My guess is it would look something like this:

      Top 2% - $19.5 billion
      Next 18% - $485 million
      Next 20% - $14.75 million
      Next 60% - $250 thousand

      • nice catch
      • by e r ( 2847683 )
        Sturgeon's law [wikipedia.org]. So what if most app developers get paid shit? If their apps are shit then why should anyone buy their shit?
      • Yes, a histogram showing the earnings of each development house (which sell apps that make revenue) by their percentage of the total App Store earnings, would give a better picture of how well most app developers are doing. My guess is it would look something like this:

        Top 2% - $19.5 billion Next 18% - $485 million Next 20% - $14.75 million Next 60% - $250 thousand

        So what's your point? That people develop for Android instead? Ignoring that the distribution looks similar, the total revenue is half, spread amongst twice as many developers? Or any other market, where, again, the distribution looks similar, but the visibility of your app is even lower?

        Anyway, that's just the money going though Apple's App Store payments. It ignores most income through ads, and all contracted developer income from free apps. Facebook, Google, Amazon, Netflix, Twitter and others offering s

    • by H3lldr0p ( 40304 ) on Thursday January 05, 2017 @11:13AM (#53610331) Homepage

      Agreed. But I don't think Apple would ever let those numbers out. It might tarnish whatever reputation they have left with the indie crowd that first made the app store popular.

      Besides we already know the truth of the matter. Small and independent developers are hard pressed to be able to survive on anything the store brings in. Discovery is wonky as hell, you may get kicked out for squinting at the sun wrong, or Apple may decide your app should now be part of their core functionality. In any of those cases, I wouldn't quit your day job even if you do get an app in the store.

      • Besides we already know the truth of the matter. Small and independent developers are hard pressed to be able to survive on anything the store brings in. Discovery is wonky as hell, you may get kicked out for squinting at the sun wrong, or Apple may decide your app should now be part of their core functionality. In any of those cases, I wouldn't quit your day job even if you do get an app in the store.

        I agree. But an independent, talented developer has the means to develop a hit application and be reasonably compensated.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Funny, the only reason to publish to the app store these days is its a resume requirement -- "Published at least one app to the store." Literally its the only reason for the $99 a year membership now.

          Its not really much of a store anymore. Just a hosting service.

          The app store and Steve Jobs have been dead a long time.

      • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

        Besides we already know the truth of the matter. Small and independent developers are hard pressed to be able to survive on anything the store brings in. Discovery is wonky as hell, you may get kicked out for squinting at the sun wrong, or Apple may decide your app should now be part of their core functionality. In any of those cases, I wouldn't quit your day job even if you do get an app in the store.

        If you're counting on "Discovery" (or "write it and they will come") you've missed the boat completely. You

      • by kuzb ( 724081 )
        They have no reputation left with anyone willing to read criticism. Tim Cook saw to that with monumental next-level stupidity.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Because with ~2 million apps in the store that comes out to $10,000 per app. Meh.

  • If 500,000 apps earn their developers a total of $1 million in year 1 and 1 million apps earn their developers a total of $1.5 million in year 2, in which year would you make the most money as an individual developer of a single app?

  • App Store needs a built-in ability to 'expire' an app after 30 days. This would allow devs to offer fully functional apps on a trial basis, like the standard for computer applications. As it stands now the developer has to write a second, "Lite" version of the app as a demo, rather than being able to concentrate on one full-function app.

  • Last year my app earned me $20. :-(

    • Re:My app (Score:4, Interesting)

      by seoras ( 147590 ) on Thursday January 05, 2017 @04:54PM (#53612831)

      I had been writing Apps for iOS exclusively up until last September when I ported one of my Apps to Android to test the water there.
      My Android App is identical to the iOS one with some Android native UI differences.
      You can use the App (iOS or Android) with interstitial Ads or pay to remove them and get full functionality.
      I get more installs of the Android App (10->30% more) but, at most, only 1/5 of the revenue from in-app upgrades to full version.
      I also get some really awful reviews, on Google Play, from a minority who think everything should be free (including Ad free).
      I enjoyed working with Java and writing the App even though Google's documentation is woefully out of date.
      It's so easy to do updates which appear live on Play within hours of being compiled.
      However I need to make a living and it just doesn't pay. Bottom line.
      This week my sales, on iOS, have been phenomenal. Android has flat lined. Even declined.
      That was my first and last Android App. For now...

      • by slapout ( 93640 )

        I'm looking a using Xamarin Forms for my future apps so I can do iOS and Android with one codebase

        • by kuzb ( 724081 )
          Too bad both markets are equally worthless. Designing a profitable mobile app these days is like winning the lottery, and even assuming you do some Chinese asshole reverse engineers it and steals all your work.

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