How much money do you make?

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EvanDog

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Sep 14, 2010, 8:25:32 PM9/14/10
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How much money do you make for how many apps in how long of a time
period?

EvanDog

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Sep 14, 2010, 8:16:02 PM9/14/10
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How much money have some have you made for how many apps for how long
of a time period?

TreKing

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Sep 16, 2010, 4:55:17 PM9/16/10
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On Tue, Sep 14, 2010 at 7:25 PM, EvanDog <evanms...@gmail.com> wrote:
How much money do you make for how many apps in how long of a time period?

That's more like a fifth date kind of question.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
TreKing - Chicago transit tracking app for Android-powered devices

Greg Donald

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Sep 16, 2010, 4:57:24 PM9/16/10
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On Thu, Sep 16, 2010 at 3:55 PM, TreKing <treki...@gmail.com> wrote:
>> How much money do you make for how many apps in how long of a time period?
>
> That's more like a fifth date kind of question.

Lol.


--
Greg Donald
destiney.com | gregdonald.com

William Ferguson

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Sep 16, 2010, 6:22:24 PM9/16/10
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Very droll.

But it's a good question.
Having a good sample (success and failures) that captures number of
downloads and revenue over time for particular types of apps and
particular revenue models would help

a) set realistic expectations for new developers.

b) allow developers to apply the most effective revenue model for that
their app type.

c) allow developers to better target market segments



On Sep 17, 6:55 am, TreKing <treking...@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Tue, Sep 14, 2010 at 7:25 PM, EvanDog <evanmschaf...@gmail.com> wrote:
> > How much money do you make for how many apps in how long of a time period?
>
> That's more like a fifth date kind of question.
>
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> TreKing <http://sites.google.com/site/rezmobileapps/treking> - Chicago

Leigh McRae

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Sep 16, 2010, 6:36:07 PM9/16/10
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It's a great question actually. The answer given is even better.
It's would be great to know all this and that is why you usually have to
pay a market research company to get it. The OP could have shown his
first before asking to see others at min.

--
Leigh McRae
www.lonedwarfgames.com

polyclefsoftware

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Sep 16, 2010, 7:07:14 PM9/16/10
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I blog about my app revenue, among other things:

http://polyclefsoftware.blogspot.com/2010/08/yet-another-android-success-story.html

I have always appreciated it when devs share their numbers, and I
think it's encouraging (or at least informative) to new devs or those
considering migrating from other platforms.

On Sep 16, 5:36 pm, Leigh McRae <leigh.mc...@lonedwarfgames.com>
wrote:

William Ferguson

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Sep 16, 2010, 8:43:46 PM9/16/10
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Thanks, that was really interesting and is exactly what I was talking
about.

On Sep 17, 9:07 am, polyclefsoftware <dja...@gmail.com> wrote:
> I blog about my app revenue, among other things:
>
> http://polyclefsoftware.blogspot.com/2010/08/yet-another-android-succ...

Chi Kit Leung

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Sep 16, 2010, 9:04:56 PM9/16/10
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But you are lucky, you can see your apps in the market, there are a lot of developers cannot sell their apps in there yet,

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DanH

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Sep 16, 2010, 10:34:40 PM9/16/10
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The real money is in 3rd party apps -- making apps for businesses,
both for their own internal use and as promotional tools. You get
paid regularly and don't have to worry about piracy. You'll never get
rich (unless you own a business that employs a bunch of other
programmers), but it's much less of a gamble.

The down side, of course, is that you do have to worry about marketing
(which is why it's nice to work for someone else in such a business
and leave the marketing to them).

TreKing

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Sep 17, 2010, 10:40:05 AM9/17/10
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On Thu, Sep 16, 2010 at 5:22 PM, William Ferguson <william.ferguson.au@gmail.com> wrote:
Very droll.

Perhaps =P


But it's a good question.

Yes, it would definitely be very interesting to see some stats from various developers.

But it IS a fairly private / personal question not many people are going to be willing to answer. Notice how no one has actually answered the question, including the OP, save for the one person that was already blogging about it anyway.

BTW, poly, thanks for sharing and congrats on the success. When I'm making that much I'll be flaunting it too =P

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
TreKing - Chicago transit tracking app for Android-powered devices

Agus

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Sep 17, 2010, 10:46:40 AM9/17/10
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Just go for paid apps if you want to make fast money, ads generate
VERY little revenue unless you have 1.000.000 ads impressions/day

Doug

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Sep 17, 2010, 11:40:07 PM9/17/10
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I'll bite.

I make roughly $100/day on a single app that has the benefit of tenure
since the beginning of the availability of paid apps on the market
(about a year and a half ago). I put in about 5 to 10 hours per week
on it with regular market updates, but I make my real money doing
Android stuff for a company as a full-time employee. The money from
my app just feeds my crack habit and makes me feel special.

Doug

P.S. I am joking about the crack habit.

Indicator Veritatis

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Sep 18, 2010, 4:16:25 AM9/18/10
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Most apps make very little money, too. That $100/day app mentioned
earlier must be a 6sigma exception! Though I admit I don't have
figures to back this up. Does anyone else have any?

On Sep 17, 7:46 am, Agus <agus.sant...@gmail.com> wrote:
> Just go for paid apps if you want to make fast money, ads generate

Alex

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Sep 18, 2010, 4:59:27 AM9/18/10
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I am very interested in the responses to this thread.

I only have one app on the market, a simple home page widget. It is
free, and it has been downloaded 13,937 times with an active install
percentage of 47%.

Obviously, I would like to make some money from my apps, but when I
look at paid versions of similar apps to mine, the download numbers
are pitiful.

We are constantly reading about the massive growth of Android and the
10s of millions of devices out there, so why do most apps struggle to
even grab a tiny percentage of that user base?

Kostya Vasilyev

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Sep 18, 2010, 5:34:31 AM9/18/10
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18.09.2010 12:59, Alex пишет:

> We are constantly reading about the massive growth of Android and the
> 10s of millions of devices out there, so why do most apps struggle to
> even grab a tiny percentage of that user base?
Yes, this is indeed a curious thing.

Especially given that, compared to the price of a phone + cellular plan
(outright or per month), the price of a typical Android application ($3
to $5) is quite insignificant.

--
Kostya Vasilyev -- WiFi Manager + pretty widget -- http://kmansoft.wordpress.com


niko20

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Sep 18, 2010, 5:58:04 AM9/18/10
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My core app has been on the Market since early 2009. I currently make
an average of 130ish dollars a day. The last two months I made more
than at my full time job.

Neilz

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Sep 18, 2010, 7:29:55 AM9/18/10
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Very interesting read, this blog.

I always assumed that the ratio would be stacked in favour of Ad
revenue, with Paid revenue falling somewhere behind. But for this app,
it's not the case. Perhaps it's because of the app type, being a well
reviewed utility.

I have a free Ad-supported app with well over a million downloads, and
it's bringing in a very nice ad revenue. I never bothered creating a
paid version, as a) my own research suggested not many people would
pay for it, b) There wasn't much I could offer as an extra (except
losing the ads). One of the things that I get as regular feedback is
"It's free!" and I like to keep it that way.

You never know though...maybe it's worth a shot. Hmmm.

On Sep 17, 12:07 am, polyclefsoftware <dja...@gmail.com> wrote:
> I blog about my app revenue, among other things:
>
> http://polyclefsoftware.blogspot.com/2010/08/yet-another-android-succ...
>

Michael A.

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Sep 18, 2010, 7:29:24 AM9/18/10
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Alex, I think the answer to your question is pretty simple: 99.99% of
the apps users download are the same 100-200 top apps. This is the
case even in the appstore/iTunes - the big difference there, of
course, is that there are much better tools available there to
facilitate browsing and discovery. Actually, I may be giving too much
credit to the Android market, because in practice it does not support
app discovery. I'd almost say that the few successful developers are
successful in spite of the Android ecosystem, rather than because of
it. The large number of apps that blatantly break the Android market
TOS together with the huge number of spam apps (30%, according to
appbrain in March) are all symptoms of an eco-system that is far from
friendly for independent developers.

One reason, I don't like to discuss how much I earn (beyond the
obvious reasons), is that earnings are extremely variable - especially
with ads; for instance, I've seen fluctuations of 300% revenue from
one day to the next, so anything I might write now could be completely
inaccurate in a week. It can also easily comes across as bragging.

I have 2 apps on the market (both free); one pretty much finished
(haven't done anything on it for a while), the other still being
improved upon. The latter is the successful one - it is high enough on
the market that a user might find it if he scrolls down the relevant
category for long enough (most new users still find it through
updates, though). It's currently up to around 90,000 users (it's about
half a year old). No idea what the install base is - I do not trust
Google's numbers at all any more (cf. other discussions here).
According to Flurry, the app currently sees some 10K active sessions a
day.

It is currently making double digits per day in ad revenue, though
still a good distance away from Doug's triple digits. Still, assuming
the growth in active users continue over the next 3-4 months
(possible, though the market gets ever more competitive) and that the
current eCPM is maintained or improved (very uncertain), I think three
digits is possible. A lof of ifs involved, but it is still pretty
amazing to me, as a couple of months ago, the game was not making more
than $2-$3 a day.

I would certainly consider a paid version on the market, if this was
an option at all. Even a 2% conversion rate would probably double the
daily income; more than that (Polyclef has about 5-10% conversion,
from what I can gather) would certainly place the game within reach of
three digit income a day.

Based on my own experiences, I can certainly see how someone could
make a pretty OK living from simply focusing on developing Android
apps, although I don't feel the least bit tempted myself (I've poured
a lot of work into my apps, but it's still been out of my free time).
I still find it inspirational to read stuff like Polyclef's blog,
though.

Regards,

Michael A.

DanH

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Sep 18, 2010, 9:40:29 AM9/18/10
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It's hard to compete against free. I've not installed many phone
apps, but in terms of desktop apps I find that quality/fit is so
variable that I'm reluctant to pay up front for an app (have only done
it on a couple of occasions), and I would imagine the same is true for
phone apps. I have on a handful of occasions (maybe 25% of those that
give the option) upgraded a free desktop app to paid to gain more
features (and a little bit out of guilt, I suppose). I don't ever
recall upgrading a "trial period" app -- for some reason they never
seem that valuable to me when the trial period expires.

One problem that phone apps have, I suspect, is that it's difficult/
impossible (depending on the market) to directly provide interfaces to
upgrade to a new version, whether free or paid, while desktop apps can
do it seamlessly.

Prakash Iyer

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Sep 18, 2010, 12:11:40 PM9/18/10
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Just my 2c - the freemium model when executed well could be one answer. Basically the free app version should do enough to not invite removal due to either "not compelling" or "too irritating". But it should also entice enough so that the user just bites - again patience is key as not every one will bite the very first time. 

One app that does this well is Tapatalk (I am not associated with them in any way other than being a happy, paying consumer). Their free version allows me to read from forums, supply login, read private messages etc. but then if I want to post/reply/click thru to bigger images etc I must upgrade. They didn't keep telling me I was a cheapskate just when I tried a premium feature. Loved it enough to pay up.

More than the platform it is the individual app I think. As an example, the free virus scan software that Google Pack installs on the desktop is irritating me to the point I am going to replace it - asks me to upgrade whenever it can as opposed to when it makes sense.

Michael A.

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Sep 18, 2010, 1:49:50 PM9/18/10
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Keep in mind that there is a huge gap between the price to upgrade a
desktop app and a phone app. The usual price range ($1-5) is generally
so small that under normal circumstances, you should see good
conversion rates.

The problem is not that phone apps are difficult to upgrade to a new
version - the problem is that the Android market does not provide the
toolset to allow us to provide smooth in-app purchases and that one
will break the terms of service if one implements it oneself. But this
griping is nothing new, of course.

Regards,

Michael A.

Chris Stewart

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Sep 18, 2010, 3:02:03 PM9/18/10
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>> One problem that phone apps have, I suspect, is that it's difficult/
>> impossible (depending on the market) to directly provide interfaces to
>> upgrade to a new version, whether free or paid, while desktop apps can
>> do it seamlessly.

I implemented something for this in my app.  It's not very difficult to do and has saved me a ton on support emails.

--
Chris Stewart

Fantasy Football - Android app for MFL fantasy football owners


On Sat, Sep 18, 2010 at 9:40 AM, DanH <danh...@ieee.org> wrote:

TreKing

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Sep 18, 2010, 4:43:18 PM9/18/10
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On Sat, Sep 18, 2010 at 3:59 AM, Alex <maro...@gmail.com> wrote:
We are constantly reading about the massive growth of Android and the 10s of millions of devices out there, so why do most apps struggle to even grab a tiny percentage of that user base?

Just guessing, but:
1 - Clearly the Market is not the most elegant mechanism for discovering apps, so that's probably issue #1 right there

2 - Competition - how many task killer, tip calculator, ToDo, or file manager apps are there? Given problem #1, how do you stand out amongst your competitors? How do you convince people to pay for you app when others are free? I've seen $0.99 Flashlight apps and just laugh. C'mon, seriously?

3 - The system is skewed to the "big guys". The only apps I ever see "featured" are those by big name companies (including Google themselves) that steal all the attention and really don't need the promotional help to begin with.

4 - As a user, one reason I hesitate to buy an app is the lingering question - "is there something better out there now or will there be soon?" Yes, it's only $1 - $5, but it's still a "commitment" - once you purchase that app it's yours for life and there's no getting rid of it (on your current account anyway) so it better be all you hoped for.

On Sat, Sep 18, 2010 at 6:29 AM, Neilz <neilh...@gmail.com> wrote:
I never bothered creating a paid version, as a) my own research suggested not many people would pay for it, b) There wasn't much I could offer as an extra (except losing the ads). One of the things that I get as regular feedback is "It's free!" and I like to keep it that way.

You never know though...maybe it's worth a shot. Hmmm.

It probably is. I've seen many, many user posts on apps requesting an ad-free paid version. There are quite a few people that are willing to pay to remove the adds and / or support the developer. Yes, these people often seem like myths, but they do exist. You really don't have much to lose and a lot to gain.


On Sat, Sep 18, 2010 at 8:40 AM, DanH <danh...@ieee.org> wrote:
It's hard to compete against free.

Only if you're not offering much more, if anything, above what the free competition is offering. If your app has some killer features not found anywhere else that people really want, they'll pay for it.


On Sat, Sep 18, 2010 at 11:11 AM, Prakash Iyer <the...@gmail.com> wrote:
Just my 2c - the freemium model when executed well could be one answer. Basically the free app version should do enough to not invite removal due to either "not compelling" or "too irritating".

This is what I do and I do think it works quite well. I get way more positives on the free version then negatives for being limited. And it means a huge base of potential new buyers.

Dianne Hackborn

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Sep 18, 2010, 5:13:33 PM9/18/10
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On Sat, Sep 18, 2010 at 1:43 PM, TreKing <treki...@gmail.com> wrote:
3 - The system is skewed to the "big guys". The only apps I ever see "featured" are those by big name companies (including Google themselves) that steal all the attention and really don't need the promotional help to begin with.

Hm currently featured on my phone...

"Kids Shape Puzzle" by anahoret
"ESPN Fantasy Footbal" by ESPN Inc
"Glyder 2" by Glu Mobile
"Deadly Chambers" by Battery Powered Games
"Shanghai Travel Guide" by Urban, Inc
"Radio Ball 3D" by Awesome Software
"Kaplan GRE Exam Vocabulary" by gWhiz Mobile
"On the Go" by Five Pumpkins
"Miami Dolphins" by Mobile Roadie
"Sporting News Pro Football" by The Zumobi Network
"Tumblr" by Tumblr
"Tank Recon 3D" by Lone Dwarf Games Inc
"Amtalee" by frostream
"RD3 - Groovebox" by mikrosonic
"Taylor Swift" by Mobile Roadie

Granted, most of those companies I've not really heard of, so I can't say for sure whether they are "big guys," but it seems reasonably balanced to me.

And not a Google app in sight. ;)

--
Dianne Hackborn
Android framework engineer
hac...@android.com

Note: please don't send private questions to me, as I don't have time to provide private support, and so won't reply to such e-mails.  All such questions should be posted on public forums, where I and others can see and answer them.

Justin Giles

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Sep 18, 2010, 5:21:17 PM9/18/10
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I tend to agree with Dianne.  I've seen a plethora of "big name" apps as well as unknowns show up.  I think the real issue is that all of us who have apps in the Market feel that our apps are the best of the best and should be featured.  Any time we see a "big name" app on the Market we immediately think "Well, there you go!  Google is catering to those with $$$."  Any time we see unknown, indie apps featured we immediately think "What the heck!  That app is no where as good as mine!!  How did it get featured and mine didn't?"  So, those in charge (or the algorithm in charge) of what apps get featured are pretty much damned if you do, damned if you don't.  None of us will be completely happy until OUR app has been featured.  I have personally gone through this whole thought process and have come out feeling that I should just be happy for those apps that do get featured and work my ass off to try to write an application that could be worthy of one of the featured slots.

Justin

Michael A.

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Sep 18, 2010, 6:15:38 PM9/18/10
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On Sep 18, 10:43 pm, TreKing <treking...@gmail.com> wrote:
> It probably is. I've seen many, many user posts on apps requesting an
> ad-free paid version. There are quite a few people that are willing to pay
> to remove the adds and / or support the developer. Yes, these people often
> seem like myths, but they do exist. You really don't have much to lose and a
> lot to gain.

Absolutely. I have plenty of users who post on message boards that
they know I read asking for a paid, ad-free version. I have also had a
few individuals donating money for the app which really impresses me,
since the Android Market TOS forbids me to offer any incentives to in
return for such donations (and I note this in the app).

Regards,

Michael A.

Mark Murphy

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Sep 18, 2010, 6:18:44 PM9/18/10
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On Sat, Sep 18, 2010 at 6:15 PM, Michael A. <michael...@gmail.com> wrote:
> I have also had a
> few individuals donating money for the app which really impresses me,
> since the Android Market TOS forbids me to offer any incentives to in
> return for such donations (and I note this in the app).

Out of curiosity, what clause in the TOS do you think applies in that
case? If you want to give donors a T-shirt, I'm unaware of any TOS
clauses that would prohibit this.

--
Mark Murphy (a Commons Guy)
http://commonsware.com | http://github.com/commonsguy
http://commonsware.com/blog | http://twitter.com/commonsguy

_The Busy Coder's Guide to *Advanced* Android Development_ Version 1.9
Available!

Howard M. Harte

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Sep 18, 2010, 7:18:51 PM9/18/10
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I've never seen my app in the featured apps list even though it is in
the 20-30 highest rated paid apps in its category on AppBrain. When I
first published my app about 18 months ago, I would get one order
every few days. Raising/lowering the price did not seem to affect the
number of purchases. Before the Motorola Droid came out, it had risen
to coffee money per day. There was a large spike in orders when the
Droid came out,
which raised it up to gas money per day. There was another small
spike when the Nexus One was released, and a more significant one when
the Galaxy S came out and paid apps became available in South Korea.
My best day of sales was about $150, which occurred when my app was
featured in a Droid X root video on YouTube. It is normally
significantly less than that.

The most interesting thing is piracy though. My app is 95% pirated
worldwide, and 66% in the USA where paid apps are available. Over
half of the users for my app are in China (100% pirated) and since I
published my app in the Shop4Apps store (Motorola apps store in China)
there has not been a single purchase. I am not sure if I priced it
right (just did the $USD to RMB conversion and rounded it off) so
maybe it is way overpriced, I don't know. Even adding LVL has not
helped the situation much, since there are still many older versions
of my app still floating around on the pirate sites.

I had an Ad-supported version of my app for a while. It made less in
several months than my paid app made in a day. Not worth it IMHO.
The conversion rate from free to paid was very low from what I could
tell. The only good thing about that free app was that I got a free
Nexus One out of it. That, and I used to use it for testing my app on
new phones in the wireless store when they came out.

In an attempt to help paid app developers, I'm now mostly using paid
apps, the best of which I've found with AppBrain. I try to buy 2-3
apps per week. I'm also not publishing any new Free apps.

When third-party apps came out for the iPhone, most were free. Now
I've heard that the majority of iPhone apps are paid (don't know for
sure since I got rid of my iPhone.) I guess this will happen in time
for Android as well, as long as paid apps become supported in more
countries, and more payment options are supported. It would also help
to be able to filter apps better in the Market client, and if apps
were actually sorted reasonably in Market. There is one app spammer
who has five identical free spam apps which come up in Market search
results above mine, despite his having 2-3 star rating and mine being
north of 4.5. Go figure...

-Howard


On Sep 18, 3:18 pm, Mark Murphy <mmur...@commonsware.com> wrote:
> On Sat, Sep 18, 2010 at 6:15 PM, Michael A. <michael.aki...@gmail.com> wrote:
> > I have also had a
> > few individuals donating money for the app which really impresses me,
> > since the Android Market TOS forbids me to offer any incentives to in
> > return for such donations (and I note this in the app).
>
> Out of curiosity, what clause in the TOS do you think applies in that
> case? If you want to give donors a T-shirt, I'm unaware of any TOS
> clauses that would prohibit this.
>
> --
> Mark Murphy (a Commons Guy)http://commonsware.com|http://github.com/commonsguyhttp://commonsware.com/blog|http://twitter.com/commonsguy

Leigh McRae

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Sep 18, 2010, 7:29:39 PM9/18/10
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I feel it's only right if I chime in here.

I am fairly new to Android so I don't know about day one but I wrote
Tank Recon 3D for the BlackBerry originally and released it back in
April 2010. I ported the game to Android and released it mid July of
this year. The game finally got featured on BlackBerry about 2 weeks
ago at the same time as Google featured it. If the name Lone Dwarf Game
Inc doesn't give it away, I am a one man team.

I for one have been extremely happy with how I have been treated by Google.

> hac...@android.com <mailto:hac...@android.com>


>
> Note: please don't send private questions to me, as I don't have time
> to provide private support, and so won't reply to such e-mails. All
> such questions should be posted on public forums, where I and others
> can see and answer them.
>

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Nathan

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Sep 18, 2010, 9:19:33 PM9/18/10
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> How much money do you make?

I admire and strive to emulate those who earn a full time income from
a part time effort. I'm having a bit of the opposite dilemma.

My one app has been on the market close to three months. It hasn't
cleared a thousand yet for the paid app, though getting closer, which
means I haven't made $7000 yet. I think I'll be less open about
earnings when/if I make more, because I don't want to encourage more
people to go after the same markets.

I do have a time limited trial version, with a DEMO app and License
app, though the Market support for that model isn't great. I've gotten
some 1 star ratings from people who didn't understand that model, or
just didn't like that it wasn't free forever. I've done my best to
make it blindingly obvious.

Actually, this result would be tremendous if it only took me a few
hours a week or was ever "done". But it took about six months of near
full time effort, and many of the target audience would consider the
app a "good start". Although this app is a $10 alternative to buying a
$400 piece of hardware, many would still consider that too much if it
doesn't do *everything* that the $400 hardware does, so there is
enough to keep me busy for *years*.

My app hasn't been in the top ten, nor featured that I know of, and I
don't know if ever will be. It's a niche market in a broad category,
travel. I am paying attention to my app's keyword searches. I'd
estimate that 25% of my paying customers have found my app by its
brand name, which means they probably knew my Windows Mobile app or
found my website.

I would agree with those that said the real money is in hiring out to
write Android apps for others. Even though, like many of you, I would
much rather be successful on my own apps alone, I need to increase my
marketing efforts to get custom work. When I have gotten an OEM deal
for Windows Mobile and have a possible one for Android, it has been
people who have sought me out based on my product portfolio.

But to have time to do custom deals or more apps, I have to accept
that I need to hire others to do some of the work.

To those developers who can't sell in the Market: I am hiring. I could
also buy some of your app source code, though to maintain focus, it
should probably be something on the outdoor recreation topic.

This is just one person's perspective, but hopefully it is helpful to
some.

Nathan

Chister Nordvik

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Sep 19, 2010, 2:27:32 AM9/19/10
to Android Developers
But how do you get featured? Our sports app is in top 5 and has been
there 6 months. Never been featured. ESPN apps are "always" featured.
Does it favor US sports apps? Ours is a soccer one...

Would be great if we knew how they were chosen.

On Sep 18, 11:13 pm, Dianne Hackborn <hack...@android.com> wrote:
> hack...@android.com

Michael A.

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Sep 19, 2010, 5:39:30 AM9/19/10
to Android Developers
Sure, you can give away a T-Shirt or Cup or stuff like that and
probably not get into conflict with the TOS, but then you're just
running an on-line shop + it requires you have an artist/designer to
produce something worth giving away. And I'd say you still risk being
slapped with 4.5 (Non-compete - thou shall not put stuff on the market
to sell stuff outside the market).

Of course, enabling stuff in the game as thanks for the donation would
run into 3.3 (bypassing the payment processor). Hasn't stopped lots of
developers from doing just this, of course.

Regards,

Michael A.

On Sep 19, 12:18 am, Mark Murphy <mmur...@commonsware.com> wrote:
> On Sat, Sep 18, 2010 at 6:15 PM, Michael A. <michael.aki...@gmail.com> wrote:
> > I have also had a
> > few individuals donating money for the app which really impresses me,
> > since the Android Market TOS forbids me to offer any incentives to in
> > return for such donations (and I note this in the app).
>
> Out of curiosity, what clause in the TOS do you think applies in that
> case? If you want to give donors a T-shirt, I'm unaware of any TOS
> clauses that would prohibit this.
>
> --
> Mark Murphy (a Commons Guy)http://commonsware.com|http://github.com/commonsguyhttp://commonsware.com/blog|http://twitter.com/commonsguy

Mark Murphy

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Sep 19, 2010, 6:09:28 AM9/19/10
to android-d...@googlegroups.com
On Sun, Sep 19, 2010 at 5:39 AM, Michael A. <michael...@gmail.com> wrote:
> Sure, you can give away a T-Shirt or Cup or stuff like that and
> probably not get into conflict with the TOS, but then you're just
> running an on-line shop + it requires you have an artist/designer to
> produce something worth giving away.

You need the logo, anyway, for your Web site, ad banners, business
cards, and so on. Given the logo, other donation-ware is fairly
straightforward.

> And I'd say you still risk being
> slapped with 4.5 (Non-compete - thou shall not put stuff on the market
> to sell stuff outside the market).

You really need to consult qualified legal counsel. IANAL, but IMHO
4.5 does not mean what you think it means. That is the "anti-Al
Sutton" clause, prohibiting you from distributing on the Market a
client for a competing market.

> Of course, enabling stuff in the game as thanks for the donation would
> run into 3.3 (bypassing the payment processor).

I agree with you here. My point was that the TOS does not block all
freemium/donation strategies. The closer you get to enabling app
features, the more likely it is the TOS will be a problem.

--

Android Training in London: http://skillsmatter.com/go/os-mobile-server

Michael A.

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Sep 19, 2010, 10:47:01 AM9/19/10
to Android Developers
On Sep 19, 12:09 pm, Mark Murphy <mmur...@commonsware.com> wrote:
> On Sun, Sep 19, 2010 at 5:39 AM, Michael A. <michael.aki...@gmail.com> wrote:
> > Sure, you can give away a T-Shirt or Cup or stuff like that and
> > probably not get into conflict with the TOS, but then you're just
> > running an on-line shop + it requires you have an artist/designer to
> > produce something worth giving away.
>
> You need the logo, anyway, for your Web site, ad banners, business
> cards, and so on. Given the logo, other donation-ware is fairly
> straightforward.

Depends. For me this is a part-time occupation, and I haven't found
any of those necessary.

> > And I'd say you still risk being
> > slapped with 4.5 (Non-compete - thou shall not put stuff on the market
> > to sell stuff outside the market).
>
> You really need to consult qualified legal counsel. IANAL, but IMHO
> 4.5 does not mean what you think it means. That is the "anti-Al
> Sutton" clause, prohibiting you from distributing on the Market a
> client for a competing market.

I seriously doubt that the revenue generated from overpriced coffer
mugs would justify the cost of legal counsel for something like
this. :-)

In any case, I did not say that 4.5 necessarily prohibits this
activity - I said that you risk being slapped with 4.5. What a lawyer
thinks the clause means is rather irrelevant, because if Google
decides that this sort of activity violates 4.5, then it violates 4.5
(see 7.2 which specifically says that determining violations of the
TOS are done at Google's sole discretion).

Seeing as how I have yet to read of any app being taken off the market
(or even warned) for bypassing the payment processor, I don't think
this would actually become a problem, but I don't see the point in
taking the risk just for a few extra dollars.

There are many excellent freemium/donation strategies one can use. If
you're outside the "magic 12" (or is it 11) countries, though, I think
you are pretty much screwed for reasonable options, though.

Regards,

Michael A.

Kostya Vasilyev

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Sep 19, 2010, 11:11:40 AM9/19/10
to android-d...@googlegroups.com
19.09.2010 18:47, Michael A. пишет:

> In any case, I did not say that 4.5 necessarily prohibits this
> activity - I said that you risk being slapped with 4.5. What a lawyer
> thinks the clause means is rather irrelevant, because if Google
> decides that this sort of activity violates 4.5, then it violates 4.5
> (see 7.2 which specifically says that determining violations of the
> TOS are done at Google's sole discretion).
>
> Seeing as how I have yet to read of any app being taken off the market
> (or even warned) for bypassing the payment processor, I don't think
> this would actually become a problem, but I don't see the point in
> taking the risk just for a few extra dollars.

Having terms of use is one thing, enforcing them is quite another.

I think it would take a pretty special application that violated the TOS
for Google to actually notice and take action. Perhaps an app that made
a lot of money bypassing Android Market, or an app that had really high
visibility, or perhaps both.

> There are many excellent freemium/donation strategies one can use. If
> you're outside the "magic 12" (or is it 11) countries, though, I think
> you are pretty much screwed for reasonable options, though.

+1 to that. Especially ironic given that Google Checkout works in more
counties.

TreKing

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Sep 19, 2010, 2:35:41 PM9/19/10
to android-d...@googlegroups.com
On Sat, Sep 18, 2010 at 4:13 PM, Dianne Hackborn <hac...@android.com> wrote:
Granted, most of those companies I've not really heard of, so I can't say for sure whether they are "big guys," but it seems reasonably balanced to me.

Well sure, if you want to play the factual evidence game ... =P
I guess I have I should not have generalized and said that's "all I ever see" - that was an overstatement. I should really start proof-reading my posts. My bad. Certainly that's not the case, but I does seem like there are generally more of these "big name" or otherwise "already so ridiculously popular they really don't need the bump" apps in the list than others.

Currently 9 of the 15 I'm looking at (some of which are in your list as well) I think would fall in that category, and one developer has two apps featured! How's that fair!?
 
And not a Google app in sight. ;)

Sure, Google Employee tries to prove a point and there just happens to not be any Google apps. I smell conspiracy!

On Sat, Sep 18, 2010 at 4:21 PM, Justin Giles <jtg...@gmail.com> wrote:
Reasonable post

Agreed - I did over-generalize. I do think that list could stand with a little refreshing every once in a while though. As a user, I get tired of seeing the same apps in rotation - with however many thousands of apps there are now, I don't think it's that hard to find a new app to feature that has not already been.

Also, the section in each category at the top that features apps from that category needs major work. In Paid Travel, at least, there are only ever two apps that this flips back and forth between (it used to be only one). This does not effect me personally as my paid app is in the top and visible anyway, but if this is how that thing works across all categories, it sucks for most developers.

In the Free Travel section, two of the apps featured are Google Earth and Yelp, which are already "featured" ON THE SAME PAGE by being visible at the #2 and #6 spots, respectively. Shouldn't those promo spots go to apps that are nowhere near the top but have good apps and could use a little help?

On Sat, Sep 18, 2010 at 6:18 PM, Howard M. Harte <hha...@gmail.com> wrote:
I had an Ad-supported version of my app for a while.  It made less in several months than my paid app made in a day.  Not worth it IMHO.

Yeah, sounds terrible, but the only reason I really bother with ads in the free version is as more incentive for people to buy the paid. Otherwise the "profit" is so pathetic it just makes me sad.

On Sat, Sep 18, 2010 at 6:29 PM, Leigh McRae <leigh...@lonedwarfgames.com> wrote:
I for one have been extremely happy with how I have been treated by Google.

Easy to say when you've been featured!


On Sun, Sep 19, 2010 at 1:27 AM, Chister Nordvik <cnor...@gmail.com> wrote:
But how do you get featured?
Would be great if we knew how they were chosen.

That is the million dollar ... err ... $0.99 (ad-free!) ... question and we'll probably never know.
 

cellurl

unread,
Sep 18, 2010, 5:15:22 PM9/18/10
to Android Developers
ACC (Android Cruise Control) v1.4
Applications: Entertainment
(5)
Comments
614 total
153 active installs (24%)
Free Errors Published

Back Seat Driver V, Strip Line v9.8
Applications: Entertainment
(10)
Comments
2185 total
304 active installs (13%)
Free Errors Published

Speed Limit v1.65
Applications: Entertainment
(7)
Comments
44 total
15 active installs (34%)
$0.99 Errors Published

JonFHancock

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Sep 21, 2010, 2:50:09 PM9/21/10
to Android Developers
On an average day, I make $70 to $100 on one paid app. If I get a
blog post, it jumps up above $200 for a few days. The first time
Droid Life posted about it, I made $700. A high-ish profile mention
in a forum will pull in an extra $20 - $40. My app is in its 3rd
month, and serves a niche market.

If your app is marketable, you need to be watching key terms using
Google Alerts. Respond to every relevant form and blog post (in as
much of a non-spammy way as possible), and make bloggers love you.

I just started selling on PayPal too, and it has been quite a hassle
to support, and is making about $10/day. That is only three days of
activity though. Given time, it may make more money, and I may
suffocate under the pile of "I didn't get my license" and "where do I
download it" emails.

Agus

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Sep 21, 2010, 3:06:09 PM9/21/10
to android-d...@googlegroups.com
@JonFHancock
Is that amount generated from ads or paid?
If from ads i want to know the average #impressions and
%clickthroughrate per month if you don't mind ?

Brion Emde

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Sep 21, 2010, 3:17:30 PM9/21/10
to Android Developers
BPTracker v1.2.5
Applications: Health
(2) Comments
51 total
30 active installs (58%)
$1.00 Errors Published


BPTracker Free v1.2.5
Applications: Health
(18) Comments
3388 total
1042 active installs (30%)
Free Errors Published

Brion Emde

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Sep 21, 2010, 3:16:55 PM9/21/10
to Android Developers

Indicator Veritatis

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Sep 21, 2010, 4:35:42 PM9/21/10
to Android Developers
Not only is it "private and personal", but one wise and cynical
financial advisor once told me something I'll never forget: never
believe somebody's claims about how much money he makes until you see
his 1040 form yourself -- especially the Schedule C.

Of course, she was speaking in an American context and of Americans,
so she gave the references for US Federal Tax. But if it had been in
many other countries, I don't think I would believe it even -after-
seeing their filings: in Yeltsin's Russia, for example, it was routine
to keep one set of books for real and the other to show the taxman.
You can figure out which showed the higher profits.

So the moment the first post in this thread went up, I knew we were
going to see some responses painting a rosy picture of glowing
success. But that doesn't really tell us much.

On Sep 17, 7:40 am, TreKing <treking...@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Thu, Sep 16, 2010 at 5:22 PM, William Ferguson <william.ferguson.au@
>
> gmail.com> wrote:
> > Very droll.
>
> Perhaps =P
>
> But it's a good question.
>
>
>
> Yes, it would definitely be very interesting to see some stats from various
> developers.
>
> But it IS a fairly private / personal question not many people are going to
> be willing to answer. Notice how no one has actually answered the question,
> including the OP, save for the one person that was already blogging about it
> anyway.
>
> BTW, poly, thanks for sharing and congrats on the success. When I'm making
> that much I'll be flaunting it too =P
>
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> TreKing <http://sites.google.com/site/rezmobileapps/treking> - Chicago

JP

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Sep 21, 2010, 8:00:25 PM9/21/10
to Android Developers


On Sep 21, 1:35 pm, Indicator Veritatis <mej1...@yahoo.com> wrote:
> never
> believe somebody's claims about how much money he makes until you see
> his 1040 form yourself -- especially the Schedule C.

<irony on>People's income statements, a hallmark of honesty, anywhere
in the world.<irony off>
Haha I got a good chuckle out of your post (:->).

JonFHancock

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Sep 22, 2010, 12:57:31 AM9/22/10
to Android Developers
@Angus
I don't do ads in the app or on the website that powers the app.
That is just sales. I've considered doing a free version with ads,
but I just don't like ads, plus, half the people I know with android
devices are rooted and have an adblocker installed.

If I don't get a fresh supply of media attention every few weeks, my
sales slump. The lowest slump since we hit it big thanks to Droid
Life was about $70 for the day.

Oh, also, if you're in the US, YOU MUST put 18% of every dollar into a
savings account, and forget it exists until tax season. Don't let all
that income tax sneak up on you. I'm sure you should do the same in
any country, but I don't know what percentage that is anywhere else.

ko5tik

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Sep 22, 2010, 2:34:23 AM9/22/10
to Android Developers


On Sep 21, 10:35 pm, Indicator Veritatis <mej1...@yahoo.com> wrote:

> in Yeltsin's Russia, for example, it was routine
> to keep one set of books for real and the other to show the taxman.
> You can figure out which showed the higher profits.

It's not quite true ;) There were 3 books - for yourself, for your
mafia taxes
( "roof" ) and for taxes , where first 2 existed virtually. And it
still the same ;)

Michael A.

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Sep 22, 2010, 4:50:27 AM9/22/10
to Android Developers
On Sep 21, 10:35 pm, Indicator Veritatis <mej1...@yahoo.com> wrote:
> So the moment the first post in this thread went up, I knew we were
> going to see some responses painting a rosy picture of glowing
> success. But that doesn't really tell us much.

I haven't seen any claims on this thread that I find outlandish by any
means.

At, e.g., $3 a sale, $100 per day is only 33 sales per day = about
10-15K downloads over a year. There are several hundreds of paid apps
that have broken the 10K downloads mark, so I am not surprised to see
several people reporting such income. Note that both niko and Doug -
the two who have cited >$100 a day, specifically point out that their
apps have been on the market for a long time = most likely top ranked
apps. These are not apps that have made big money for years - most
likely their current level has only been reached in recent months as
the number of Android devices has gone through the roof.

Of course, one should put their success in perspective by noting that
of 45K+ paid apps, only about 3% have >1000 downloads and less than 1%
have >5000 downloads (according to Androlib). So obviously, success of
that kind is rare and not to be expected for the average app.

The sad thing is that, by iPhone standards, these tales of "glowing
success" are laughable. Consider for instance Trism (big hit on the
iPhone - sold 50K units in its first 2 months @ 5$) has yet to break
the 500 download mark on Android. Obviously, success is all about
being in the right place at the right time with the right product, but
but such a huge disrepancy in sales can hardly be put down to only
luck. I am looking forward to reading Polyclef's blog when he takes
status of sales on iPhone/Android for his latest cross-platform app
whether he finds the trend of iTunes being immensely superior to the
Android market continuing.

Currently (again according to Androlib), Android has 27 paid apps with
more than 50K sales. Only 1 (Robo Defense) has gone over 250K in
sales. That should really tell people everything they need to know
about the profitability of the market for a regular starting
developer.

If you have the name recognition, of course, big hits are still
possible. Angry Birds will certainly make a killing when it comes on
the paid market. Judging by their download data, the Moron Test is
making well over $600 a day now (5000 downloads between Jun 29 - Jul
11; 40,000 downloads from Jul 11 to Sep 7 @ $0.99). So really good
sales are clearly possible, if you have the right IP.

Regards,

Michael A.

Indicator Veritatis

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Sep 22, 2010, 4:55:12 PM9/22/10
to Android Developers
You make some very good points in this post, supplying the balance
lacking in all the previous posts on this topic. But there is one
thing I have to correct: I said "rosy picture of glowing
success...that doesn't really tell us much". I did not say
'outlandish'.

The two are not the same. Even if we take at face value all the claims
made about such-and-such app making such-and-such figure, it really
doesn't tell us much. Why? Because as you yourself pointed out (thanks
for that, BTW), only about 3% of apps even break 1000 downloads. The
money makers are all doing far more downloads than that. So they are
quite the minority.

That is an excellent example of the balance lacking in all the
previous posts on the topic.

But here is another example: have you noticed how free apps in general
get more downloads than paid apps? Or what about apps that start out
free and turn into paid apps? Don't the download numbers then tend to
drop like a rock?

I haven't actually checked the numbers on Google's Android Market, but
I did notice both these trends on SlideME. I can think of no reason
why the same trend would not occur on both (though I know Google
discourages turning free into paid).

DanH

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Sep 22, 2010, 6:56:25 PM9/22/10
to Android Developers
Just FYI, in any other "first world" country, exceptiing Japan and
South Korea, it would be (considerably) more.

DanH

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Sep 22, 2010, 6:59:03 PM9/22/10
to Android Developers
In short, apps are like show business. How many actors/musicians even
get to give up their day jobs?

JonFHancock

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Sep 22, 2010, 11:12:57 PM9/22/10
to Android Developers
BTW, I will break 10K downloads today or tomorrow with an active
install rate of about 35%

dm1973

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Sep 23, 2010, 12:11:51 AM9/23/10
to Android Developers
Software in general is a hit business. The top apps make big money,
the rest made almost nothing. There are some exceptions niche
exceptions but if your writing a game realize that the top 50 will
make big money but the 250th (the number are a bit made up) will
struggle to get any money at all.

For what is worth I have a top 100 free game(something like 60-75. Too
lazy to get the exact number. It has 600k users). It brings in about
$500/day in add revenue. Market sales are about 25/day. I am thinking
about discontinuing the paid version (too much piracy, not worth the
effort). The iphone version of the same app struggles to make half of
that. Your mileage may vary.

Michael A.

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Sep 23, 2010, 5:52:47 AM9/23/10
to Android Developers
I don't think you actually can switch an app from free to paid in the
Android market, without taking it down and renaming it.

In either case, it is hardly surprising to find downloads of free apps
far exceeding paid apps. This is no different from the pattern you see
with normal software - the "industry standard" conversion rate from
downloads to sales is around 1%. I am actually very impressed by the
numbers that Polyclef presents on his blog, with his Golf Solitaire
lying around a 3% conversion, while Wordwise is a whopping 20% (though
I suspect this may be due to fans of his previous game purchasing the
new one. We shall see whether the conversion rate remains as high when/
if he presents more recent numbers). Low conversion rate from free to
paid is something that should be expected by an app developer; it is
simply part of the business.

Generally speaking, I do not think think apps are much different from
regular software. The main difference is that the gold rush mentality
and the ease of throwing together an app makes a lot of developers
think they can make a lot of money from a weekend's work. Consider
that in the indie games development world, there are 1000s of would-be
developers who try to make games - try it, and fail. Their products
never make it to the market, because they are never finished. In the
app world, though (especially in the open Android market), there is no
such barrier. Anyone can publish, and a lot do. Add to this dedicated
spammers, and you have the explanation for a major part of the long
tail (about 30%). That too has to be viewed in the balance.

While I nodded at Dan's comment about show business, I don't quite
agree. Certainly, a breakout $100,000 success will require luck, but I
do think that simply being smart and hard work will take you very far
(polyclef again comes to mind). From my observations, a lot of things
go into this kind of success; e.g., being able to correctly identify a
niche/opportunity, a huge amount of hard work to deliver a polished
product, and figuring out the most effective marketing method for the
product (something which we coders very often ignore or are very bad
at). Of course, even with all of these factors in place, there is no
guarantee of success, but that is no different from any other
endeavour in life.

The real answer to the OP's question (which is, essentially, a variant
of the eternal "How much money can I make?"), of course, is:

42

Regards,

Michael A.
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