Vision Mobile: 'App poverty line' represents 60% of all developers

Sixty percent of developers now fall under the "app poverty line," making less than $500 per month, and 15 percent making no revenue at all, according to Vision Mobile. The firm's Q1 Mobile Megatrends 2015 report is based on its Developer Economics research team.

  • Only one in nine developers that rely on app store revenues are in the "safe zone" of making $10,000 per month.
  • 800,000 new mobile app developers enter the market each year.
  • 71 percent of the app economy comes via e-commerce sales of goods and services.
  • 64 percent of developers target consumers, compared with only 20 percent targeting enterprise.
  • 53 percent of developers are already involved in the Internet of Things (IoT).

"App stores alone cannot sustain the developer population. e-commerce is and will stay the winning app revenue model," the report says. "There is substantial overlap in what consumer and enterprise app developers are working on. Many apps can be simply repositioned or repurposed to attract an enterprise audience rather than consumers."

Although 60 percent sounds pretty bad, Vision Mobile's report actually suggests things are holding steady in terms of its app poverty line. The same figure was quoted in a report from Feb 2014, while 67 percent were reported making less than $500 in 2013. That said, there is still obviously a lot of work to do for developers to adjust to shifting monetization opportunities. Besides working for enterprises, Vision Mobile's report also offers some intriguing predictions about the future value of apps. Instead of merely enjoying the experience of the app itself, for example, the firm said consumers will soon be spending a lot of time with "companion apps" that are basically a remote control for IoT-connected devices. Vision Mobile also foresees the rise of "data apps" that provide value by tying information from various sources together, and said that the "data developers" will be the kinds of this segment in the future.

For more:
- see the full report here

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