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Most app developers make less than $500 a month (chart)

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We know that not every app is Angry Birds and not every app developer is Rovio. But just how tough are things for the workaday app developer? In a recent GigaOM Pro study (subscription required) of app developers, more than half of the respondents say they make less than $500 a month from their paid apps (see chart below). Perhaps not surprisingly, app development isn’t a full-time job for most of them. Some 75% of 352 respondents either hold another job or do app development only as a portion of their main job. (The picture is even grimmer for developers of advertising-dependent apps — a third of those developers make less than $100 a month in ad revenue, according to the study.)

On the high (and much more rare) end of the spectrum, about 5 percent of app developers in the survey make over $20,000 a month. These developers tend to be part of big app firms.

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Rani Molla/GigaOM

8 Responses to “Most app developers make less than $500 a month (chart)”

  1. Alan Gruskoff

    This report is right on, thank you for that Rani.

    As a one man developer corp, with one App in iPad, Android Tablet and Kindle Fire formats, I dont mind sharing these modest sales numbers from last month.

    09/06/12 Apple $638.74 iOS
    09/04/12 GOOGLE $328.20 Android
    08/30/12 AMAZON $226.85 Kindle Fire

    Not gonna pay form that new Aston-Martin, but worth doing.

  2. Ian Wood

    This is simply a reflection of the quality of the average application. It is very easy to create a mediocre or worse application that lacks support and gets little to no attention. It is a much different proposition to build a quality application, market and support it properly so that it grows into a successful revenue generator.

  3. Most of this data is probably because of all the applications which don’t ever get touched. It would be nice if developing applications could be an actual job (if the money was good).

    • El Barto

      With some many crap apps this is what happens…even kids developing apps now..for a developer making money is the main reason they put such effort in their apps, iOS has better apps than android as apple kind of attracts the paying crowd, android is for the price concious or plain cheap…sure some pay for the apps, but is far easier to pirate…google should tighten the controls so developers get more money for their efforts