Show Me the Money! A Look at the Profitable App Publishing Models

The app explosion on mobile has been impressive. Smartphones have been adopted faster than any other technology in living memory. The leading platform, Android, boasts around 1.4 million apps in the Play Store, and Apple’s iOS, in second place, is not far behind with 1.1 million apps. The potential opportunity is huge, but numbers don’t tell the whole story.

Prospective developers would do well to stop and ask, “where’s the profit?” before developing a new app.

A year ago, Gartner’s gloomy prediction was that less than 0.01 percent of consumer mobile apps would be considered a financial success by developers through 2018. The vast majority never turn a profit, but a small number of apps are raking in the riches. For example, one of the top games right now is Supercell’s Clash of Clans, which makes more than $1 million per day.

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