Making money with mobile apps

Posted on: August 16th, 2012 by writers

App Store © by Cristiano Betta


What are the best ways to generate revenue streams from your mobile apps? According to a recent Developer Economics 2012 study conducted by Vision Mobile, the most lucrative method is the paid user subscription model. The study polled over 1,500 app developers around the world, including North America, Europe, Asia and Latin America to determine the different economic factors that come into play in the development ecosystem. The study covered topics including mobile app revenue models, mobile development costs, app marketing and platform segmentation.

The subscription model for apps had the highest average revenue generation per app, bringing in an average of $3,683 a month, however it was one of the tougher models to use when attempting to convert users to paying customers. Driving customers to in-app mobile purchases was another high generating revenue model, with an average stream of $3,033 per month. This was followed by the traditional setup of the pay per download model, which averaged $2,451 a month. Less successful revenue streams included the freemium model and in-app advertising.

What about the various mobile app platforms? Even though we’ve written a lot lately about the Android platform pulling away from Apple’s iOS platform in terms of smartphone usage, Apple leads Android in average revenue generation per app. The BlackBerry OS platform is even more profitable than the Android for app revenue, which was quite surprising to us.

Windows Phone apps trailed all the competition, which will make Microsoft’s journey to capture market share with their new Windows Phone 8 platform all the more difficult. Not only does the Windows Phone platform have the least amount of market share than any other major platform, but it also has the lowest average revenue generation per app. Not a winning combination. Interestingly enough, a large portion of mobile app developers (57%) still plan to adopt the new Windows Phone platform when it launches this fall.

How does this stack up with your own mobile app experience?

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