It’s A Race To The Bottom: Only 1 App In 10,000 Will Be A Financial Success By 2018

apps

It’s possible to make a lot of money by writing an iOS app. In fact, the top iOS app makers each gross as much as $90,000 a day from their offerings. Yet despite these success stories, the vast majority of app developers are finding it difficult to make money on the App Store, and the bad news is, it’s only going to get worse, with a new forecast predicting that less than one app in 10,000 will make money by 2018. Woof.

According to a forecast by Gartner, most apps (94.5%) will be free by 2018, and rely upon in-app purchases and advertisin to make money. Summarize Techcrunch:

That’s up several percentage points on 2013′s figure. Last year, Gartner projected that nearly 83 billion downloaded apps would be free — or 91% of all downloads. So freemium app business models which rely on monetizing a free download after the fact via in-app purchases (IAP) will continue to grow in importance for developers. (As will app advertising.) Gartner previously forecast that IAP will account for 48% of all app revenues, up from 17% in 2013 and just 11% in 2011.

When it comes to pay-to-download applications, the pie continues to be sliced unevenly, with around 90% of paid apps being downloaded less than 500 times per day — and making less than $1,250 per day.

Even $1,250 a day seems like a major success story in today’s app environment, but in just five years, that money will seem like $90,000 a day. It’s a race to the bottom, people, and we’ve almost hit it.

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About the author

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his girlfriend and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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