A recent study conducted by GigaOM has shown that of the app developers surveyed, more than 50% of the respondents say they make less than $500/month from their paid apps (see graph below). Is this a surprise? Not so much, as we all know it’s tough to succeed in the App Store. If anything these numbers indicate that app development for most developers isn’t a full-time job.
In fact, according to the study, approximately 75% of 352 respondents also have another job or do app development only as a portion of their main job. What about developers who rely on in-app advertising to generate revenues? Over 30% of those developers make less than $100 a month in ad revenue. However, when it comes to the high end of the spectrum, approximately 5% of app developers in the survey make over $20,000/month.
The study does put some perspective on how much money is in app development these days. Obviously, not every app can be the next Angry Birds, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give it a shot. On a side note, I think part of the problem is that the App Store’s have fundamentally changed the pricing structures for apps. People no longer want to pay $25-$50 for a good piece of software, now it’s $5 or no sale and I think that has hurt app developers in terms of revenue.