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How Much Money Can You Earn With an App in 2024?

The app economy is worth billions, so how much money can you earn with an app? We explore the earnings potential for different platforms and…

How Much Money Can an App Earn?

There's a lot of money in apps. Billions of dollars. A specific type of app earns a majority of that revenue; many others make no money at all. It is difficult to put a single figure on how much revenue an app can generate because of the wide range of apps and the disparity of money they earn.

For example, the top 200 apps generate on average $82,500 daily, while the top 800 apps generate around $3,500. Gaming apps also make around $22,250, while entertainment apps make $3,090 daily, so there is no firm way to say how much an average app makes.

The mobile market has grown substantially over the years and industry experts predict continued growth. In 2023, mobile traffic accounted for 55% of total website traffic in the United States. The average adult also spent 3 hours and 45 minutes a day consuming digital media on their phones. With such impressive numbers, it’s no wonder that Fortune 500 companies and entrepreneurs alike are trying to get in on this modern-day gold rush.

If you’re new to the market, looking to enter it, or just have a really cool idea for an app, one of your first questions is likely along the lines of "Can you make money from an app?"

Fueled is a product and mobile app development agency that can help you gain insight into the potential profit you can make with your app idea. 

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Which Platforms Make the Most Money for App Developers?

First and foremost, you need to decide what platform(s) you want to design your app for. This can greatly affect your earning potential due to differences in market penetration and platform popularity.

In the app world, developers are in high demand and are compensated accordingly. The Android platform is in the lead with an average salary of $97.6K amongst developers. Android is a well-regarded platform because of its continued market penetration. Apple’s iOS platform is not far behind — mid-level iOS developers make about $96.6K a year. It is worth noting that both Android and iOS are "top heavy" in terms of earnings, with much of the total revenue being earned by top developers. Some of the younger app developers in the market have begun recruiting mobile app marketing specialists to help them bridge the gap.

While more niche platforms can be profit earners, they should only be considered once your app has proven profitable on a more widely used platform, especially considering the dominant Android/iOS duopoly. Once an app is a proven winner, porting it to other platforms becomes more viable.

What Kind of Revenue Do Apps Generate?

There's no denying it. Apps are big business. Mobile app revenues are expected to shoot up to $935 billion in revenue in 2024. Gaming apps dominate the list of top-grossing apps. Most game apps are free to download, but the real money is made through in-app purchases. Last year, global revenue from in-app purchases was projected at a staggering  $81 billion— it makes sense, considering that 98% of app revenue comes from free apps with in-app purchases.

How Much Do Subscription Apps Make?

With over 75 million monthly active users, Match Group's Tinder is a great example of an app that is a tidy money earner due to in-app subscriptions. The Tinder dating app is free to download, but makes money by charging users monthly for bonus features like unlimited swipes, which give users endless opportunities to match.

Tinder’s "Passport" add-on allows users to match with users in other locations, while "Boost" allows users to bump their profile to the top of the pile of users in their area. In 2023 Tinder made $1.9 billion dollars in revenue. Tinder charges $9.99 a month for a Plus subscription and $14.99 for a Tinder Gold upgrade. This approach has made Tinder one of the highest-grossing apps worldwide.

YouTube, ESPN, and Pandora are also high up on the list of top-grossing apps. Subscriptions generate the majority of these apps' revenue. Streaming apps like Hulu and Netflix operate on subscription-based methods as well.

Comparatively, MyFitnessPal has a high grossing subscription model that is not based on streaming media. MyFitnessPal is a health based app with premium subscription features that allow you to track your workouts, calorie intake, and even scan meals for nutritional value using your camera. In 2023, MyFitnessPal brought in $310 million in revenue.

Apps Aren’t Just for Mobile Phones

Apps have branched out from phones as more integrated smart devices have entered the market. Smart speakers like Alexa and Google Home have also dominated the app market. Ownership of these devices is predicted to skyrocket, with a steady growth of third-party app purchases that surpass 1500%.

If it makes sense on the platform, it is worth keeping Smart TVs and home devices in mind when designing your app. Expansion of platform offerings not only increases exposure for your app but also opens it to new revenue stream

 An apple smartwatch with a black leather strap and digital display showing various app icons sits on a white surface beside an open book with 'CALIFORNIA' printed on the facing page.
Picking the right platform for your app is essential

Video game consoles come equipped with their own app stores, featuring popular apps such as Netflix, YouTube, Hulu, and Amazon. By extending their services to these platforms, the apps aim to provide added convenience for their users.

Another platform to pay attention to is smartwatches. With wearables becoming increasingly prevalent, it’s no surprise that smart watches are predicted to see massive growth in 2024. Optimizing your app to be smartwatch-compatible could drive more downloads and prove to be useful.

The Apple Vision Pro is another exciting platform to consider. This new technology allows for immersive experiences that blend the physical and digital, offering a unique opportunity for businesses to create innovative and engaging applications. By developing apps for the Apple Vision Pro, you can reach a new audience and enhance user interaction in unprecedented ways.

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