One of the first things you’ll need to consider is where you want your app to be found – what platform you want to release on. Different audiences use different platforms for different purposes – you need to tailor your decision to suit your app idea. iOS, for example, leads the market in the UK and US, closely followed by Android. These two alone account for 99.1% of all smartphone sales worldwide, with Android having an 86.2% market share in 2016 and Apple having 12.9%.
“Global app revenue for 2017 reached almost $60 billion, a 35% increase on 2016.”
Each of these have different development processes, complete with their own advantages and challenges: Android OS is easier to put onto the AppStore but harder to develop, as well as having better customisation options. iOS is easier to develop, maintain and bug-fix, with cleaner interfaces, but suffers from lack of customisation and a stricter publishing process in iTunes. App Annie, a popular data source concerning Apps, reports that revenue generation is roughly 60% more on the iTunes store than on Google Play. All of this needs to be considered when developing a new app, as the right choice may give you the edge you need to succeed.
The next thing to consider is the type of app you’re developing. Global app revenue for 2017 reached almost $60 billion, a 35% increase on 2016. Of that, nearly 82% (estimated at $48.3 billion) came from mobile gaming. Gaming apps are typically the highest grossing out of all the categories – for example, Candy Crush Saga earns $1.6 million daily through in-app purchases, with its developer King Digital Entertainment making almost $2 billion from in-game purchases across all of its apps. Almost all of these apps are free, relying on in-app purchases like microtransactions for revenue. Mobile ports of the hugely popular battle royale games Fortnite and PUBG are now, according to App Annie, two of the most popular free apps on the iOS store in the US – with Fortnite being the second highest grossing app, behind subscription-based Netflix. While they generate impressive amounts of revenue, there is fierce competition on the games market.
“Subscription based apps, in particular, are a popular way of monetising an app.”
Even if you aren’t looking to develop a game, there’s a wide breadth of apps that generate a lot of revenue – subscription based apps, in particular, are a popular way of monetising an app. Match Group’s Tinder is currently the number one grossing app in the UK for 2018, owing to the options of Tinder Plus and Tinder Gold – allowing access to premium features, unlimited swipes and others. Plus ranges from £3.99 to £14.99 per month, while Gold is £7.49 a month, or £4.66 on a six month subscription and £3.50 on a 12 month basis. The result is a total revenue of £271.57 million in the second half of 2017.
Worldwide, the top non-game apps by revenue puts Netflix at the top – another subscription based service, it beat out Tinder in 2017 with a gross subscriber revenue of an estimated $510 million. Media apps are also popular, with Spotify, Pandora, Tidal, and Hulu – music/video streaming apps – also ranking highly.
Despite the surge of popularity of gaming and media apps, utilities have a definite place – in 2016, fitness tracker MyFitnessPal had a reported $8.8m in revenue for parent company Under Armour. Google’s own Google Drive currently ranks fifth overall for top grossing apps in the UK, and VPN services from Norton and AnchorFree find themselves in the top 100.
The app market is massive, and still growing – there will always be innovations, new platforms to develop for, and new users to reach. Trends emerge and shift daily. Developing an app isn’t always easy. You may need some help to realise the vision you have for your app. Specialist app development companies like ourselves exist to make the app development process easier – with a focus on your specifications, they can deliver the features you want in a complete package. If you want to find out more, contact us! We’ll be happy to answer any queries you might have.