Wednesday, March 13, 2024

Most Subscriptions Apps Do Not Make Money

Hartley Charlton (Mastodon):

The “State of Subscription Apps” report comes from RevenueCat (via TechCrunch), a prominent mobile subscription toolkit provider. With nearly 30,000 apps utilizing its platform for monetization management, RevenueCat is able to provide a reliable overview of the subscription app landscape thanks to its data collection capabilities. The analysis delves into data from over 29,000 apps and 18,000 developers, collectively responsible for more than $6.7 billion in revenue and over 290 million subscribers.

RevenueCat found that while the top-performing 5% of subscription apps amass revenue 200 times greater than those in the bottom quartile, the median monthly revenue for apps after one year is less than $50. Only 17.2% of apps cross the $1,000 monthly revenue mark.

Paul Haddad:

Pretty sure “most app do not make money”, is also a valid headline.

Ben Sandofsky:

When I read “17% of subscriptions apps make > $1,000 a month,” I just assumed that pay-once apps are at 1%.

Nick Lockwood:

consumers have some amazing misconceptions about how software is made. I’ve seen several reviews for mobile apps over the years that claimed that since Apple/Google pay the developers to make apps anyway (?) they should be free for end users

Christian Tietze (Mastodon):

That got me thinking – my family doesn’t quite understand that I’m creating apps for e.g. Apple platforms without being an Apple employee, either.

Randy Saldinger:

Even as someone who gives software away for free, I still get comments from users who take umbrage when I don’t want to add a feature they ask for, “after I paid all that money to Apple.” It’s not often stated that clearly, but the subtext is often there.

This misconception certainly isn’t helped by Apple’s framing of App Store updates at WWDC. “Apple has paid developers 70 billion dollars!” Not “developers have earned 70 billion dollars selling on the App Store.” Not “developers have earned 100 billion dollars and Apple scraped 30 billion off the top.” But “Apple has PAID developers.”


Update (2024-03-14): Sebastian Aaltonen:

Yeah. Technically Apple is handling the billing, but billing is not equal to making money. You don’t say that Mastercard is making your money either.

The devs are making the money and devs are paying Apple 30% cut. That’s what’s really happening.

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