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Top 25 Devs Account for 50 Percent of App Revenue

By - Source: Canalys | B 6 comments

Games are gold.

Apps are a great way for developers to make a bit of cash. And, if an app really takes off, app development can be a pretty lucrative business. In fact, market research firm Canalys writes that 50 percent of App Store revenue is raked in by only 25 developers.

The firm estimates (based on daily App Interrogator surveys) that just 25 developers accounted for 50 percent of U.S. app revenue in Apple's App Store and Google's Play marketplace. Canalys said today that between them, 25 devs made $60 million from paid-for downloads and in-app purchases over a period of 20 days last month.

So, what does it take to become a top app developer? Well, your best shot is probably games. Canalys says that of the top 25, only one was a non-gaming developer. That was Pandora. Pandora aside, the top 25 included Zynga, Electronic Arts, Disney, Kabam, Rovio, Glu, Gameloft and Storm8’s TeamLava. Additionally, you need to have multiple titles available for purchase.

"Part of the story here is that successful game developers almost invariably have multiple titles generating revenue," said Canalys VP and Principal Analyst Chris Jones. "Zynga, for example, had 15 titles in the list of top 300 grossing iPhone apps on average in Apple's App Store every day, and nine titles in the equivalent list in the Google Play store. Even with its singular focus on its Angry Birds franchise, Rovio has multiple game variants in the list."

Canalys also mentioned a major issue devs face when going up against heavy-hitters like Angry Birds, highlighting the importance of brand awareness in order to get your app noticed and ensure it sticks out from the crowd.

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  • 6 Hide
    sliem , December 5, 2012 5:19 PM
    They think "Ooohh only $1 for this game? Why not!" and then later "Why it's only $1 for this add-on, sure I can spare $1."
    Guess what? It adds up.
  • 6 Hide
    LightningStryk17 , December 5, 2012 5:30 PM
    The other thousands (maybe millions?) of developers make hardly anything.
  • 1 Hide
    mcd023 , December 5, 2012 6:25 PM
    It's the top 1% they should be taxed! (in addition to the apple tax!) mwahahahaha. On a side note, I think I'm toward the bottom 1%. lols
  • Display all 6 comments.
  • 6 Hide
    tipmen , December 5, 2012 6:41 PM
    sliemThey think "Ooohh only $1 for this game? Why not!" and then later "Why it's only $1 for this add-on, sure I can spare $1."Ok...Guess what? It adds up.

    That is how steam gets me :( 
  • 5 Hide
    NuclearShadow , December 5, 2012 6:46 PM
    It makes sense. The mobile app market is simply flooded with so with many apps. Those that actually achieve getting attention out of the giant crowd will be the ones to bring in the vast majority of success. Unfortunately this also means that quality apps that would be widely enjoyed will be buried with the rest and barely noticed.

    I think a accurate comparison is musicians. There is tons of talent that ranging from all differing quality. Yet a extremely slim amount will ever hit it big and get a contract with a major recording label. Even those that truly shine with talent may only be known within their city.
  • 0 Hide
    frombehind , December 6, 2012 9:04 AM
    LightningStryk17The other thousands (maybe millions?) of developers make hardly anything.

    The other thousands of developers flood the market with pure garbage apps... you reap what you sow.
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