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Vserv survey: 82% of developers struggle with monetization

Survey shows that as more apps are added to a portfolio, the amount of revenue generated goes up exponentially
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An overwhelming majority of developers have a hard time making money, but as they add more apps to their portfolio, that begins to change, according to Vserv.mobi. The company recently released the results of a survey that looked across a broad range of issues among independent app developers.

  • 82 percent of game/app development companies cited monetization as a key challenge. This was actually second to distribution, however, which was cited by 84 percent of independent developers.
  • 100 percent of developers with only one app said they make less than $1,000 a month. However, 11 percent of those with two to five apps said they were making between $1,000 and $10,000 a month.
  • 7 percent of those with six to 20 apps said they were generating between $10,000 and $50,000 in revenue.
  • 8 percent of developers with a portfolio of more than 20 apps said they were making more than $50,000 a year. 


"The mobile app marketplace is very dynamic. However, total revenue is directly proportional to the portfolio size," Vserv said. "Unless the app is popular and generating like Pandora or Pocket, churning out more relevant apps will be most important to increase revenue."

Besides suggesting that more is better from a product perspective, Vserv's research reinforces the fact that this is still a relatively young industry. While 47 percent of its survey sample described themselves as independent, almost three-quarters of respondents said they had only been working in the field for less than three years.

Making relevant apps is obviously job one, but as they gain more experience with boosting engagement, retention, marketing and other aspects of becoming a full-fledged development studio, perhaps more developers will see significant financial success without having to create nearly two dozen apps.

For more:
- see the full infographic with Vserv's survey data

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