Making money developing apps, especially for an independent developer, isn’t exactly easy. If you develop apps for any of Apple’s platforms there’s a good chance you’ve made a couple bucks here or there. Guess how much money Apple has paid to developers using the App Store? $20 billion. That’s billion, with a ‘B’.
Apple has paid out, in total, $1B by June 2010, $2.5B by 2011, $5B by 2012, and by 2014 a cool $20B. That’s incredible growth. A giant payout for independent developers who often find it difficult to gain traction and customers on their own.
What’s insane is that it took 4 years for the company to hit the $5 billion in payout milestone. It took another two years to payout another $15 billion to developers.
Here’s a nice tale about why the App Store is so successful, from a consumer standpoint:
I woke up this morning, and at the top of my ToDo list was buying Hemingway, an interesting editing tool for writers. The company just released a desktop version of their app, and I was keen to try it out on a couple articles today while I made my editing rounds.
I navigated to their website. I clicked the “Buy now for Mac OS X” button. Then I immediately abandoned my purchase when I realized I had to go find my wallet and Visa. I haven’t seen my wallet for a couple of days. I blamed my kids like all good parents do, then I moved on to another task.
Apps, for most, are impulse buys, especially if they fall into the “less than $5 bucks” category. Apple gets it. How couldn’t they? They make it painfully easy for customers to make purchases in a click or two. Without having to do anything outside of inserting a password into the App Store, I find myself buying way more apps than in the past.
The App Store isn’t all roses, especially for developers, but for this lazy customer $20 Billion doesn’t lie. People want the easy buy, not to jump through hoopsfor a $5.00 application.
Dear Hemingway, please find a path to the App Store.