How Much Money Can You Earn with an App


188.9 billion dollars. According to the marketing forecasts, this would be the size of the mobile application market by 2020. Impressive, isn't it? Especially considering the fact that in 2015 this figure amounted to 69.7 billion. Unfortunately, not every application can bring its developers a stable profit. Some stay unclaimed and the time and money spent on the development do not get compensated. Why does this happen? Is there any universal way to multi-million sales? How much does the average app make? And, finally, how much do app developers make per download? Let's try figuring it out.

Which Option Is More Profitable for Developers - Web or Mobile Apps?

A good idea by itself is not enough for the successful implementation of the app. It is, rather, a necessary but by no means sufficient attribute of the relevance among users. One of the most important factors in a volume of prospective earnings is exactly the format of the future mobile app. The most popular today are two options: web and mobile applications. Which to choose?

In fact, the dilemma of choosing between these always was and always will be relevant. Both variants are popular, each with own benefits and disadvantages.

So, the main advantage of client-server applications is that their operation is independent of the environment. Thus, web applications can be considered cross-platform. On the other hand, they are completely dependent on the Internet connection stability, so using them while offline is not possible.

If we consider the financial aspect, web applications are typically monetized by paid subscriptions. Another viable option is the implementation of payments on the basis of provided functionality. In this case, if the user is late with the payment, access to some functions is limited. Sometimes the web application is delivered completely free of charge, while the user is offered paid premium features. At the same time, when promoting a web application, significant search engine optimization (SEO) costs are often incurred and large parts of development funds are saved for marketing activities.

What about mobile apps, then? The key point here is the audience: most users look for the programs with necessary functions in dedicated application stores and the choice depends on social factors: user opinion-based scores, ratings, reviews, etc. An important advantage of such store is the increased trust - App Store and Google Play conduct both the preliminary and periodical security check-ups to ensure that released applications contain no malware. In addition, mobile software provides direct access to the full extent of the device’s capabilities, while web apps depend greatly on the functionality provided by a specific browser. Another advantage of this format is the possibility to operate offline, independent of the network connection. And finally, users already use mobile app stores, so developers do not need to spend resources for promotion as much as in the case with client-server development.

profitable app categories

As for the choice of the mobile platform and the answer to the question: “How much does an app developer make?”, nothing is so obvious. For some reason, many developers believe that the most profitable audience is among the iPhone owners. Nevertheless, the “dry” statistics demonstrate the exact opposite - due to the overwhelming prevalence of Android-based mobile devices, this platform has a higher probability of making the development company successful. However, you should not write off iOS and build an application exclusively for Android - as practice shows, the owners of gadgets based on the former platform are much more likely to pay for applications and make in-app purchases. Therefore, if you have the opportunity, develop an application for both OSes at once - thankfully, today the market offers a number of cross-platform frameworks that will reduce the total cost of the development as compared to creating two separate native apps.

From the perspective of the question: “How much money do apps make?”, other, less popular platforms such as BlackBerry and Windows Mobile, can only be considered additional options for expanding the target audience but not the main ones.

Another viable option is the development of applications for smartwatches (based on the WatchOS or Android Wear). Obviously, this niche is much narrower than major mobile platforms. This provides quite good prospects for earning (especially if the idea of the application is unique) to those development companies that cannot afford to keep up with high competition.

This was the first step in answering the question “How much do apps make?” - reviewing the features of mobile app format selection. Next important point is the choice of the implemented trends. Below, we offer a brief overview of technologies that are most likely to attract a lot of attention from mobile users in 2019.

Read also: Most Profitable App Categories

profitable apps kinds

Technologies, Implementation of Which Is Likely to Make Your Application Popular

How much can you make from an app? Onwards in our travel to answer this and other similar questions, let us describe the top 3 selling features that raised lots of hype in 2018 and are predicted to be on the rise in 2019.


Despite the fact that idea was slightly discredited by an array of unsuccessful ICOs, the 2019th year will still be favorable for startups in this area of activities as the technological concept of blockchain itself is quite helpful and promising. There are some examples of truly useful business solutions, built on the basis of the blockchain - for example, in spheres of e-government, security, logistics, online payments, and quality control.

AI Routines

Despite the fact that the concept of artificial intelligence started to form as early as the end of 19th century with Alan Turing considered to be the first to formulate its scientific basis, platforms that would be intelligent enough to independently solve truly complex problems are yet to be launched. Though most of the current implementations are quite simplistic chatbots that allow users to while away a few free minutes or serve as the first-line support operators, some examples of truly magnificent software that uses all sorts of scientific developments and involves extremely complex computations exist already and even more are being tested or developed.

Biometry Apps

A ubiquitous distribution of digital technologies leads to increasing demand in the protection of personal privacy. The optimal solution to this problem is biometric authentication - that is, confirmation of the user identity by recognizing such unique biologic parameters as fingerprints, eye retinas, facial features, etc. Successful implementation of this technology with high probability will receive a wide approval.

So What Are the Possible Revenues From Mobile Apps?

And now let's finally answer the question: “How much money can an app make?” With a thorough approach to the development and comprehensive promotion, a topical application can bring its creators quite impressive profits.

Here are some of the most impressive instances:

  • The total revenue of Pokémon Go, launched in 2016, by September 2018 surpassed $2 billion;

  • In a year, the developers of Candy Crush Saga have earned over $1 billion;

  • The profits from Instagram ads brought Facebook more than $6 billion dollars in a single 2018 (how’s this for an answer to the question “How much do apps make from ads?”);

  • Snapchat earned almost $600 million in 2nd and 3rd quarters of 2018.

Extraordinary, isn’t it?


Let's sum up our research on the topic of “How much money can you make from an app?”. As you can see, earning with the application is both a simple and complex task. On the one hand, fierce competition can lead to a failure of the project (dozens if not hundreds new applications are released weekly) and mobile app development requires rather serious primary investments (usually the price for development starts at around $20 thousand; if we are talking about the most modern technologies, then the price increases at least twofold). On the other hand, there are some very promising income prospects, which can cover all the investments with notable interest.

How to insure yourself against possible failure? In our opinion, contracting an established team of experienced designers and developers who are knowledgeable in the latest technological trends would be your best bet. Try us. For years to the day, we specialize in the creation of mobile software - both for business tasks and personal usage. And due to the impressive list of successfully implemented projects in completely different market niches, cooperating with us you receive a kind of guarantee that your product will not stay unnoticed by users.

Article Rating

15 Reviews
3.9 / 5.0

We hope you enjoyed this article! It's very important for us to receive your feedback. You can use these emojis to describe your feelings.

  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
Request a quote
prev next
Be the first to receive helpful tips from Applikey
Please enter correct email address
Fasten your seat belts, we are taking off