The explosion of mobile usage has been well documented over the last few years; mobile platforms (phones and tablets) now account for more than 60% of the time spent on digital media. And perhaps, more importantly, mobile applications now drive half of all time spent on DM in the United States.
With those numbers, it is no wonder why businesses around the world are trying to get in on the action. If you are trying to enter the market, or you simply have a cool app idea, there are probably many questions floating around in your mind. If you are interested in over-night success, you should know that over 50% of developers earn less than $1000 per month.
So, do I still have your attention?
There are many developers out there who make a really good living. Some of them are creating thriving businesses on the app store, and a few at the top are even creating multi-million dollar enterprises. While there is no secret formula for success with the app stores, there are different factors and statistics available for our convenience. So let’s take a look at some of the latest trends and insights, and increase your chances in building a top seller app.
The Biggest Platforms
While the “platform war” is still going on, the stats remain the same – Apple has the high-end on lock, while Android dominates everything else. This standstill is illustrated the best by the split of developer platform priorities amongst the professionals – Android has 40% of developers, while iOS has 37% of them. However, chances of making more than $5,000 per app monthly are still much higher for those who focus on iOS.
The Highest Earning Categories
Enterprise applications and business software have remained on the top of the highest earning app charts for years. However, the last year saw a huge spike in the popularity of personalization apps. These apps include everything from emoji keyboards to simple lock screen software, and according to data from Flurry, personalization apps saw a monstrous growth of usage in 2015 (over 300%). Surprisingly, according to the same report, games were the only category that saw a drop in usage last year. So if you want to build an app, this might be the right time for it.
The Best Revenue Models
The business model you see the most often is the free app with in-app advertising. The goal with this model is to accumulate a big user-base with the free download, and then gather the data about the users. When you sort this data, you proceed to sell it to advertisers who pay to have targeted ads in your app. Facebook does this extremely well; in fact, the company reported a 151% increase in their mobile advertising revenue in 2014. Other well-known strategies include freemium, in-app purchases and paywalls.
Things You Should Consider Before Starting
The most important thing you need to think about is, whether you should hire someone to make the app for you, or learn how to code and make the app yourself. If you do not have any coding experience, it will take you around six months to become competent with Java or Objective-C. To develop expertise and become capable enough to make a reliable app, will probably take you 12 to 18 months. If you have no experience and choose to hire a developer, keep in mind that you risk losing a lot of money.
While all of this sounds like a lot to compete with, you have to remember that this is a global market and your potential customer base is counted in billions. Opportunities are growing continuously, as smartphones continue to penetrate new markets such as China and India. In addition, Apple recently revealed that it paid its developers more than $40 billion, whereas Google had paid the Android developers more than $7 billion since January. So maybe you need to start thinking about your silly little app idea more seriously.