Lecture Date: Wednesday, April 11

Let's start by going over the privacy policies you brought in!

Make sure you did the reading for today! -

So, you're gonna make it rich in the app store? (We'll stipulate that making custom apps for a company is a much more stable way to earn a living making mobile apps.)

Let's look at some facts:

  • There are hundreds of thousands of apps in each store
  • The platform holders take up to 30% of your revenue
  • Most of the software costs for mobile apps is up front, i.e before people have paid you

How are you going to get noticed? How are you going to earn enough to make the next app? How do you get the money to make the first app?

Let's start by discussing the differences in the two stores, then get into pricing schemes. Note that the following data is from mid 2014.

Apple App Store

  • Brought in around $10 billion in 2013 alone
  • December 2013 was the best month to date at $1 billion just in this month
  • On average, Apple pulls in about $5.1 million every day
  • In May 2013, the 50 billionth app was downloaded (the downloader won a $10,000 gift card to the app store)
  • In general, the App Store has more apps, less malware, and brings in more money for it's developers and Apple

Spring 2017 Update

  • In 2016, App Store developers earned $20 billion.
  • Since Apple keeps 30%, Apple sold $28 billion in apps.
  • On New Year's Day, Apple said its App Store delivered more than $240 million in purchases.
  • Sales from the App Store topped $3 billion in December with the help of Super Mario Run.
  • The App Store now offers 2.2 million apps, up more than 20 percent from a year ago.
  • Subscription billings in 2016 for the App Store were $2.7 billion.


Google Play Store

  • It is estimated that Google brings in $1.1 million per day
  • Over 2013, the estimate is $1.3 billion in 2013 (13% of what Apple did)
  • The Google Play Store, however, is 75% of all total mobile app downloads worldwide (App Store is 18%)
  • Much larger install base
  • More phones and properties
  • Currently growing at a faster rate than the App Store
  • Most profitable Android apps are doing better than the most profitable iOS apps

Spring 2017 Update

Highlight quotes from the article linked below:

  • 90% of Google Play income came from games.
  • According to App Annie, the average user spent over 150 billion more hours in apps in 2016 than they did in 2015. The number of hours spent in apps totaled nearly 900 billion. That’s good for about a 15% increase overall.
  • Download numbers stopped being the big metric that developers and pundits used to calculate an app’s success. Things like daily active users (DAUs) and time spent in an app became the more important metrics.
  • The number of downloads increased by 13 billion from 2015. Total apps and games downloads were over 90 billion overall. That’s a growth of 15%. Much like 2015, Google Play saw more download growth than Apple. China also contributed about 80% of Apple’s download growth.
  • In 2016, India surpassed the US in overall downloads while Brazil and Indonesia saw good growth. Four of the top five countries in “time spent in apps” were also developing markets.


Slides - Monetization