Last month, Toronto-based app strategy and marketing agency App-Promo kicked off its first annual App Developer Survey, a questionnaire that focuses on the business side of applications. The goal of the survey, App-Promo said, was to reach out to the community to get a "deeper statistical understanding" on how developers are doing with their applications, "especially from a monetization and marketing perspective."
“After years of working with developers and app owners helping them succeed with their applications," Gary Yentin, CEO of App-Promo, "we wanted to put together a statistically valid report which articulates the challenges and difficulties we are seeing firsthand with our clients. We definitely see a deficiency in industry conversation around the business side of app development and thought that the best way for us to shed some light on this subject was to initiate this survey and follow-up with our findings."
App Promo has now published an infographic highlighting their findings. Perhaps the most alarming statistic is that 59% of apps do not generate enough revenue to break even on develop costs; that is, well over half of all mobile apps lose money. 68% of app developers make less than $5,000 per year from their most successful app, while just 12% of developers generate $50,000 or more revenue annually.
And here's the conundrum that comes with knowing what to do but not having the financial resources to do it: 91% of those surveyed by App Promo stated that marketing is "necessary for success"—yet more than half had a marketing budget of zero dollars.