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Don’t count on a mobile app making you rich; $50/month is typical

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Don’t count on a mobile app making you rich; $50/month is typical

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If you’ve got big dreams about earning a living from creating iPhone apps, a new report makes for some sobering reading. The median monthly revenue generated by an app after a year on the App Store is less than $50 per month.

There is some encouraging news, though: There seems to be a tipping point if you can get an app to the point where it’s earning $1,000 per month …

RevenueCat, a company which aims to take the hard work out of offering in-app subscriptions, carried out a large-scale analysis of more than 30,000 subscription apps across 18,000 developers. Between them, those apps signed up an impressive 290M subscribers, and generated some $6.7B in revenue.

But as TechCrunch notes, the headline numbers disguise the huge variability.

The top 5% of apps generate 200 times the revenue of the bottom quartile after their first year, while the median monthly revenue an app generates after 12 months is less than $50 USD […]

The company found that only 17.2% of apps will reach even $1,000 in monthly revenue.

There is some good news, however. If you do succeed in reaching the $1k/month point, then there’s a decent chance that your revenue will continue to grow.

After they hit that point, the odds of them growing further increase. For instance, 59% of the apps that reach $1,000 will go on to reach $2,500 and 60% of the apps that reach $2,500 will make it to $5,000.

Beyond that, things get much tougher again, with only 3.5% of apps hitting $10k in monthly revenue.

If you want to maximize your chances of financial success, health & fitness seems to be the category to target.

Health and fitness apps generate more revenue after a year, performing at least twice as well as all the other categories combined.

Steer clear of travel and productivity categories: even the top 5% of those make less than $1k per month.

RevenueCat believes that one of the trends in the coming year will be offering more one-off in-app purchases, alongside subscription options.

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