If you are just getting into mobile app development or have a really good idea for a mobile app, one of the first questions on your mind must be something like “How much money would my app make?” This is a very reasonable concern as you try to understand if it’s worth the effort to create a new.
There’s a tremendous amount of money in mobile apps, and it keeps growing every year. In the best year yet for mobile, global app revenue grew by 23% in 2018 to more than $71 billion combined on the iOS and Google Play app stores.
What’s important to know is that most of this revenue is earned by a certain type of app while many other apps make no money at all. The disparity between just the top 100 and top 1000 selling apps is vast, and so is the revenue gap between gaming and non-gaming apps. This makes it very hard to pinpoint the revenue generation potential for one app.
While there is a lot to consider in planning your app development, let’s get started by looking at a few main points you should consider.
When you’re choosing your platform, either iOS or Android must be your first choice. While there may be some revenue potential in niche platforms, you should only consider them after your app is making money on one of these two major platforms.
In terms of revenue, Apple’s App Store users spent an estimated $47 billion in 2018 compared to $25 billion spent on Google Play. While this is a huge difference, revenue on Google Play increased more from 2017 to 2018 compared to Apple, so it’s difficult to predict which will outpace the other in the coming years.
Development costs are quite similar between iOS and Android as programmers’ salaries are quite similar. One major cost saving you can benefit from is in building your iOS and Android apps in succession. A seasoned mobile app development team can leverage what’s already been built on the first platform to provide you considerable savings on the second platform.
Where’s the Revenue Potential?
While gaming apps dominate the list of top-grossing mobile apps, there is one sales channel that is the clear leader in revenue generation. The good news is that it can be easily adopted by apps from other verticals. I’m talking about in-app purchases.
Most apps, including games, are free to download. They form their revenue from these purchases and subscriptions that are available inside the mobile apps. Actually 98% of all revenue comes from in-app purchases. Great examples of successful mobile apps using this revenue-generation model are Netflix, Tinder, PokemonGo, and Fortnite.
With subscriptions, an app development company is basically selling their app (or its premium features) by way of subscriptions. Like Tinder and Netflix, you can have users choose from multiple tiers based on their needs.
Looking Towards Tomorrow
While gaming apps are the biggest earners, mobile gaming’s share of all app revenue for 2018 dropped to 77 percent from 82 percent the previous year as the monetization of non-gaming apps continued to improve. Infotech apps, shopping apps, and utility apps for smart home appliances are examples of mobile apps that have a bright future.
Markets like China and India are also still developing and/or opening up, so they are still far from reaching their potential. Google Play, which does not have a presence in China, is a good example of this future potential. While Google Play’s revenues still lagged behind Apple’s App Store in 2018, it is hard to say if this pattern will continue to hold as Apple already has a presence in China. Google’s expansion into this market could be a game-changer
Atimi is a premium mobile app development company that can help you gain valuable insight into the potential of your app idea, whether it is an enterprise app or a consumer app. Let’s talk more about your app idea!