Android App Development: Just How Profitable is it Really?

Smartphones are taking over the world. People are pursuing many important day-to-day activities on their mobiles: banking, shopping, advertisement, payment, entertainment, etc. There are apps for almost everything under the sun, and the entrepreneur or the developer who can find a niche for which there is no app can hope to earn a high ROI.

But with over 800,000 apps on the iTunes Store and more than 850,000 apps on Google Play, one wonders if any profits can be made in such a fiercely competitive market. Do Android app developers make money? Are enterprises and businesses getting good returns on their investments in Android apps?

These questions are of great importance to independent developers, entrepreneurs and large business organizations planning to take a plunge in Android app development.


Where's the Money?

There are many ways in which you can make money from apps. Let's take a look at three of the most common methods used by mobile developers.

  • App sales: This is the obvious one. You build an app and you sell it on Google Play. People buy the app, Google deducts its bit, and you get to keep the rest. The fact that people do not shell out money for app unless they are extremely useful and well-designed means that most developers do not make much money off paid apps.
  • Advertisements: You build a free app that is either entertaining or useful. The simplest option is to create a free game. People download the app as it is interesting and free. You place advertisements in the app and make money from the ad impressions. This is the most popular method of monetizing an app.
  • In-App Purchases: As the name suggests, you sell real or digital products through your app – it could be a game wherein you may persuade sers to pay real money for in-game points or money. It could also be an app through which users can subscribe to a magazine, or buy books or music.

Do Small, Independent Developers make Money through Android Apps?

For independent developers, it is not easy to calculate just how much they are actually get for every hour they put in for developing Android apps. As Google Play has thousands of free games and app the cover almost every category, an independent developer doesn't really have a good chance of making good money.

While there are few developers making some money from their apps, it is questionable whether they are getting enough for their efforts. Most independent developers see it as a bit of extra pocket money and not a windfall. The truth is that developing only for Android is cannot provide good return on investment to indie developers.

Does Android app development work for Business people and Companies?

No one can make money from any kind of mobile app development unless the underlying concept of the app is good. Provided the concept is sound, entrepreneurs who create an app provides a service that is not provided by any other app in the market (or build an app that does it better than competitors), they can make money through app sales or app advertisements.

Companies can also invest in an app, not with the intention of making money through app sales or ad revenues, but for selling and promoting their products using the in-app types of model. In such cases, the companies usually get a high ROI, and we can say that Android app development is profitable for such businesses or companies.

For enterprises and large business organizations, there is no question of making money from Android app when they are developing apps for internal corporate use. Such apps are not sold, they do not have ads and they don't want people to buy anything. The goal of such apps is the help a business organization streamline its business process, simplify work and improve efficiency. For such businesses, if the Android app succeeds in achieving specific target, spending money on developing the app has been worth it.

To Wrap it Up

The profitability of Android apps on Google Play has been improving steadily. Now, there are more ways of making money through an Android app, and smart strategies can help you get a good ROI on your investment.


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Carlos Wilson

If you are passionate about all the things related to online games development and look for the latest news and updates on the topic, then you should be interested in the ideas that Carlos shares in his blog post at MonsterPost.

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