The App Developer Middle Class and How You Can Get There

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As Android and iOS app builders and developers, we hear this a lot: “I want to make the next Angry Birds.” A lot of people in the app development industry have been led to believe that developing apps is an “all or nothing” proposition: that if an app isn’t huge, it isn’t worthwhile. Really, though, nothing could be further from the truth.

This report from Flurry Analytics provides ample evidence that there is a growing “middle class” among app developers. Due to the amount of money being spent on apps in the current market, an app developer doesn’t have to rank nearly as high as was once required to make a sizeable income.

The report projects that data from the total of Android and iOS apps will reach $8.7 billion this year, which is a 61% increase over last year. Advertising revenue from those apps is projected to more than double last year’s total, going from $980 million to $2 billion. The advertising revenue will represent 23% of app revenue this year, as opposed to 17% last year.

The biggest news, though, is that apps that don’t make the top 100 are projected to produce 68% of total app revenue this year. In 2010, this number was only 45%. In 2010, the top 25 apps made 28% of the revenue; this is expected to drop to 15% in 2012. There are plenty more numbers in the full report, and you are welcome to click the link above. What’s really important here is the trend.

Too many app developers have ignored the old adage in the motivational field that “the best way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time.” They were so focused on wanting to create a mega-hit that they ignored plenty of great niches and solid money-makers.

With this report, the numbers speak a clear message: there is plenty of room at the top, but there is even more room in the middle. While it definitely helps, an app doesn’t have to be a meme or a household name to make app developers a lot of money.

So, the next time you think about creating the next “Angry Birds,” think first about creating an app that will get you to the “middle class.” In the apps business, the middle class is a great place to be.

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