App Store revenues up 50%, but how many devs are making money?

Christopher Reynolds

In news

January 12, 2015


Apple has announced sales on the App Store increased by 50% during 2014, generating over $10 billion in revenues for developers.

The first week of January 2015 also broke records for Apple, with nearly half a billion dollars spent on apps and in-app purchases. It looks like a lot of the naysayers are being proven wrong when it comes to the continued growth of the app economy.

Last year’s $10 billion in sales is even more impressive when you consider that total App Store revenue to date is $25 billion. Going from $15 billion between 2008 and 2013 to $10 billion in a single year is a huge jump.

Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior VP of internet software and services, said:


“This year is off to a tremendous start after a record-breaking year for the App Store and our developer community. We’re so proud of the creativity and innovation developers bring to the apps they create for iOS users and that the developer community has now earned over $25 billion.”

However, while revenues are better than ever on the App Store, some say the lion’s share of the money is being snapped-up by an increasingly smaller circle of developers. According to a study that came out last summer, 84% of the 700 top grossing apps were games, and 81% of those apps were published by just fifty companies.

The reasons for this is debatable. You could say the App Store is simply awash with poor quality titles that get rightly ignored. Or you could say the App Store still has a big problem when it comes to discovery and the bigger devs are simply able to cross promote and advertise their way into solid userbase. Indeed, unlike a few years ago, evidence is mounting that users acquired through ad networks are just as valuable as those acquired through organic means.

Apple also added that “developer innovation” on the App Store in 2014 was fueled by its new programming language Swift, but it didn’t say how many developers were using Swift or how many apps on the store were built with the language. For more information check out the press release.