Wake up call: 59% of mobile apps don't earn enough to break even

More than half of mobile apps don't earn enough to break even

With Instagram recently having been acquired by Facebook for $1 billion and OMGPOP, makers of Draw Something, cashing in for $200 million, developers are attacking the mobile app space with a renewed vigor. Before jumping head first into a new project aiming to be the next big acquisition target, developers might be wise to look over a white paper recently put together by App Promo.

App Promo conducted a study last month in an effort to investigate how well mobile developers are performing in this crowded space. In its survey, the company found that a staggering 59% of mobile apps do not generate enough money to break even. Only 12% of developers earn $50,000 or more from their apps, and these developers were found to have big marketing budgets of $30,000 or more. They also spend about 14% of their time focusing on marketing on average.

“With over a million applications in the market across platforms, app publishers are finding it increasingly challenging to cut through the noise and get their apps discovered and downloaded,” the firm wrote in its white paper. “Those developers that spend money and time on marketing outside of the app stores found the most success based on the revenue they had earned for their app. This core finding echoes what we believe as a leading app marketing and strategy firm, that in order to make an app a successful business you need to ensure that you have a budget and time allocated to marketing and promoting your app.”

The firm concludes that application discovery is a huge barrier in the crowded mobile software space, and a solid marketing strategy is of the utmost importance as a result. App Promo’s research is based on data collected from a survey of “over 100 qualified app developers,” and an infographic outlining key data points from App Promo’s study follows below.

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