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App Monetization: Reality Check

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App Monetization: Reality Check

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There’s been a couple posts over at the W3i blog recently worth checking out to guide your project planning:

Just How Much Money Can Top Mobile App Developers Make, and How?

… the average per-app revenue is roughly in the range of $1,200 to $3,900 depending on the platform. Additionally, Vision Mobile noted that an app has roughly a 35% chance of generating about $1 to $500. This obviously means that most developers simply cannot rely on app development as their main source of income…

Yowza. Check out this revenue model chart:


There’s some more fascinating stats in

Tips for Designing for App Monetization

The problem most app developers have is that they overly focus their initial design efforts on engagement and retention rather than monetization. Most developers believe that once they launch a highly engaging mobile app, they’ll get around to optimizing for monetization. The problem is that most apps achieve their peak traffic levels within the first three to six months of launch. By the time they get around to optimizing monetization, they already blew past their peak traffic levels and are declining quickly…

… the range of paying users on any given day was from approximately 0.02% (two one hundredths of one percent) to 0.1% (one tenth of one percent)…

Kinda sobering, indeed. To really put things into perspective though, check out (h/t @rwenderlich) this post on game availability for various platforms:

Those Are Mighty Big Numbers

How many games were published for the original Nintendo Entertainment System? MobyGames lists 1116. And the Super NES? 1043. The Nintendo 64 had only 324, the Game Cube 557, and the Wii an astonishing 1201. So all together for the Nintendo consoles, that’s just under 4,250 games…

… iPhone / iPad? Hellatons. From what I can tell, over 100,000 game titles. Not all are unique, mind you, but… that is not a small number. That is a very big number. When you say, “one in a million,” you are only off by a factor of ten when you are talking iPhone games…

… I really don’t know how the brave, new world of gaming is going to work. I hope I can figure it out, as a developer.

Yeah, we’re all with you there.


The fall of Angry Birds

How Free Apps Can Make More Money Than Paid Apps

Making money in a crowded App Store: it’s dog eat dog and Spy vs Spy

The Sparrow Opportunity

40 Secrets to Making Money with In-App Purchases


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