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Majority of App Developers Make Less Than $500 a Month

By - Source: GigaOM | B 18 comments

75% of the the developers, however, have another job.

While several developers have made a living out of their apps on smartphones such as Google's Play store and Apple's iOS App Store, the majority of developers generate less than just $500 a month, a study has found.

A recent GigaOM study of app developers found that more than 50 percent of them said they make less than $500 a month from their paid apps.

However, app development isn’t a full-time job for the majority of the respondents. 75 percent of the 352 developers questioned in the study work another job or carry out app development as a part of their main job.

5 percent of app creators, however, are making over $20,000 a month. That said, such developers are usually part of the bigger firms including EA, etc. And then there's Angry Birds creator Rovio, who are reportedly worth over $5.5 billion.

 

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Top Comments
  • 17 Hide
    amuffin , November 4, 2012 3:50 PM
    Because the money has already been taken.

    The problem is with these app stores, is there are too many apps.

    Maybe you could have made money about 2-3 years ago. Now, it's just flooded.

  • 12 Hide
    halcyon , November 4, 2012 3:18 PM
    ...and its readily apparent in offerings we see.
  • 12 Hide
    eklipz330 , November 4, 2012 3:17 PM
    not surprised at all. and i don't think it'll ever change. if anything, it will become more diluted
Other Comments
    Display all 18 comments.
  • 12 Hide
    eklipz330 , November 4, 2012 3:17 PM
    not surprised at all. and i don't think it'll ever change. if anything, it will become more diluted
  • 12 Hide
    halcyon , November 4, 2012 3:18 PM
    ...and its readily apparent in offerings we see.
  • 10 Hide
    alidan , November 4, 2012 3:22 PM
    make something usefull and not a fart noise app, and you will probably make more money.

    make a simple but addictive game, and there you go, self sustaining wealth for life.
    and the game isnt hard, you could make a flash in the pan game, and it would still net you probably 100k before its forgotten at 1$ a pop.

    really wish i had programming skills, as i have ideas, and i know i could be big, but i got no talent and no money to fund talent.
  • 17 Hide
    amuffin , November 4, 2012 3:50 PM
    Because the money has already been taken.

    The problem is with these app stores, is there are too many apps.

    Maybe you could have made money about 2-3 years ago. Now, it's just flooded.

  • 5 Hide
    FinneousPJ , November 4, 2012 4:55 PM
    Yeah, the article is kind of misleading. Obviously Rovio isn't worth $5.5 billion from app sales :lol: 
  • 4 Hide
    Filiprino , November 4, 2012 8:26 PM
    There are too many poor apps out there.
  • 0 Hide
    p05esto , November 4, 2012 9:21 PM
    There's too much crap out there, far too many apps that no one needs. You're almost wasting your time developing apps. It's like hitting the lottery if your app is any good and gets attention.
  • 1 Hide
    killerclick , November 4, 2012 11:36 PM
    And most drug dealers live with their mothers. It's winner-take-all world and it doesn't pay to be adequate at anything.
  • -1 Hide
    otacon72 , November 5, 2012 1:00 AM
    The Android market or whatever they call it now is full of garbage.
  • 1 Hide
    helltag , November 5, 2012 1:19 AM
    alidanmake something usefull and not a fart noise app, and you will probably make more money. make a simple but addictive game, and there you go, self sustaining wealth for life.


    hah! If only that was the case! It's very much about marketing too, something that if you don't have experience in and can't afford you need to crash and burn multiple times. My last game was on iPhone and was simple and addictive (search "Laundry Rush"), even hit the number 1 spot in Hong Kong and success in dozens of other countries when free for a week. Friends and co-workers were addicted to it, always coming in and telling me each day their new score. I was seeing a girl at the time who we would go back to her place and she would play the game for hours straight while I chilled on the couch and worked on future patches.

    It barely cracked 4 figures over 6 months, by which time about a year of my life had gone into it. Not as much as the game before that, 3 years and a lot less success (and it's pretty bad imo, I did the graphics myself). The artist and I clashed and went our own ways and I set the game free which was in conflict with the artist, I actually find joy in people playing my games and when free it was getting over 30k downloads a day compared to a couple bucks a day.

    I've finally started work on my follow up, which friends have already fallen in love with, and I'm hoping I'll be more prepared with this one and manage to get some hype going prior to release. But it's never about quality unfortunately, of course I'm biased though ;) 
  • 0 Hide
    Thomas Creel , November 5, 2012 2:45 AM
    The rating system needs to be reworked in the iOS store, every app needs one professional rating. I am tired of dl'ing a boring app that had great promises.

    I think it just needs a bit more regulation is all.
  • -4 Hide
    fuxxnuts , November 5, 2012 4:16 AM
    Stylemalls10: Please tell me more! Sounds really really interesting. how do I take advantage of such a deal?
  • 1 Hide
    fuxxnuts , November 5, 2012 4:18 AM
    (For those who might not get it ... stylemalls10 is clearly some spam bot... for the love of god please do not click on their link -_-")
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , November 5, 2012 6:04 AM
    The note about Rovio definitely was misleading since majority of their income comes from merchandise and marketing deals. They recently even made a deal with Paulig (the largest coffee supplier here in Finland that also operates in most of the northern Europe) and released a espresso and a drip roast of Angry Birds coffees.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , November 5, 2012 9:33 AM
    Rovio is pulling more than $15,ooo,ooo per month currently.

    Mostly coming from "free, ad supported" versions.
  • 0 Hide
    xero141 , November 5, 2012 10:07 AM
    One POV: The figure is also watered-down a bit by the number of app developers in India, Philippines, Pakistan, China, and other countries where making $500US a month goes a very long way. I have many friends who have degrees in computer science or IT or mobile programming who work for companies (local and multi-national) that pay the equivalent of $300 per month in the Philippines.

    Another POV: 352 developers. That isn't exactly a good number.
  • -2 Hide
    geost91gr , November 5, 2012 10:46 AM
    Just one thing: Allow more payment options. Most people are not willing to get credit cards, especially now.
  • 0 Hide
    gogogadgetliver , November 5, 2012 6:54 PM
    It reminds me a bit of the video game industry during the Atari 2600 days about the time the E.T. game released. The industry like imploded due to too much cheap crap and not enough consumer dollars.

    250k apps? You couldn't touch them all in your lifetime.

    Crossing fingers that the Windows 8 store keeps the quality higher.
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