Without a doubt, the world has become mobile! But what do mobile app developers feel about that? In a study called State of Mobile App Developers 2016 undertook by InMobi, over 1000+mobile app developers respondents across 155 countries were surveyed in order to provide insightful data on the latest trends in the mobile app ecosystem, including developer mindshare, platform of choice, revenue models, challenges and motivations and mobile ad network preferences.
The mobile revolution is here
Everywhere we look around, we see people with the eyes glued in their smartphones. This mobile revolution and the very fast growth of smartphone usage has opened a big market for mobile application development. The time users spend using mobile apps is also increasing day by day. This is good news for mobile app developers and a boost for innovation inside the industry. Tools, technologies and platforms are evolving to meet the demands of increasingly exigent users.
The ultimate goal is, of course, creating an app that gets downloaded and it makes users spend their on it. Of course, the challenge comes for the business industry also, as more entrepreneurs and CEOs understand why your business needs a mobile app. Nonetheless, the mobile app market is massive, with plenty of competition. This is a challenge for mobile app developers and business representatives to make sure that they are able to monetize these apps to fund innovation.
We looked though the State of Mobile App Developers 2016 study and here we are to provide you the key findings and trends.
Most of mobile app developers are…
You guessed, males. And very young. And working on their own or hired by small size companies.
The developer nation is male-dominated. Only 6% of our respondents are female. 46 percent of developers globally are between 25-34 years old and the average age is 33. And they are in the industry for quite a short period of time.
Almost 3/4th of the developers have been in the industry for less than 3 years. In fact, only three out of 10 have been making apps for more than 4 years.
According to the study, mobile app industry is entrepreneurial in nature. 47% of respondents surveyed work by themselves. Only 8% of mobile app development firms have grown to over 20 employees. This indicates that industry economics make it difficult to operate firms of this size.
Most of mobile apps are…
You guessed, again. Games. Games, Entertainment, Utility, Education & Lifestyle categories are high priorities for developers globally, with games leading with 41%.
What do app developers prefer and why. iOS or Android?
State of Mobile App Developers 2016 findings indicare that Google Play is the preferred App Store among majority of app developers. 42% of app developers have 1-3 apps on Google Play store, while just 28% of app developers have 1-3 apps on Apple’s App Store. The reasons behind this stats are the availability across different operating systems of android apps and due to easier access to testing devices. Also, there is also a lower payment barrier to get your app onto the Google Play Store as compared to Apple’s App Store.
Monetary succes is still an issue on mobile app business
As the study reveals, 55% of developers make $1000 per month, but the monthly average mobile app revenue globally is under $6K. This indicates that making mobile apps is still a poorly optimized business. Despite the fact that many are crowding to mobile apps with the hopes of developing the next “Angry Birds,” monetary success is still very difficult to find.
Those that develop to the Apple iOS make an average of about $8.1k per month per app. For Android, the average revenue is $4.9k per month per app. One third of the app developers have less than 10K app downloads across all regions. Globally only 15% have crossed 1000K download mark.
The greatest challenges for mobile app developers
We all know that marketing is key for promoting a business. But this is not a comfortable thing to do for mobile app developers. 43% of developers agree that marketing is the most challenging aspect in the mobile application process. Because getting your app discovered is key for your mobile’s app succes, more and more app development companies start working with online marketers. With millions of apps across iOS, Android, Windows Phone and other platforms, standing out in the boundless sea of available apps is becoming increasingly difficult. As the study points out, the marketing activity should consider the following phases: Pre-launch marketing; Early collaboration; Initial promotion; App discovery tools; Grassroots activity & App search optimization.
Next, on the list of challenges that developers face are design (21%), development (17%), distribution on multiple platforms (11%), testing/QA (7%), support (2%).
But which are the motivation of developers for creating apps? Of course, money comes first (with 34% agreeing upon that). Next comes fun of building the app & creativeness.
The most popular mobile app revenue model
According to State of Mobile App Developers 2016, mobile advertising is one of the most widely used monetization models among app developers (with 7 out of 10 of the developers using it) because it provides an income stream for app developers and effectively powers the app economy. This varies from running a burst campaign, to a focused ad campaign spent over a couple days to drive downloads and move up in the app store ranking.
45% of developers used banner ads to monetize their ad inventory. This is still being popular because the advertising method promise mass reach,consisting in millions of ad impressions on mobile. Native advertising, which is a more engaging and less intrusive ad format than banner ads, is quickly becoming a major source of revenue for developers.
In-app purchases is the second most popular method of monetizing apps among developers. As the study suggest, this trend will be still valid în 2016 and suggest that developers will have to focus on managing their ad networks so that: a) they get the maximum revenue benefits, and b) the ads do not hamper the app-experience of users in any way.
6 future trends from State Of Mobile App Developers 2016
1. Swift – the programming language of the future
Most app developers are creating their apps using HTML, C++, and Objective C technologies. But Swift, a brand new programming language by Apple hast started to get a lot of attention from developers. Designed both as an application language as well as a systems language, it is built on a modern compiler infrastructure and gives developers the opportunity to write more reliable code right from the very beginning.
2. iOS & Android remain in charge
Android and iOS will remain the preferred platforms for users. So, if the users are there, the developers must be too.
3. Utility Apps Are Here to Stay
Nowadays, users want better control in terms of fitness, keep track of weather, or want to schedule to-do tasks, activities they perform on a day-today basis and so on. So, their are interested in utility apps that offer them relevant insight. And thus, creating a utility app can still be a winning idea.
4. Better marketing and advertising to increase in-app purchases
The study highlights that developers should take advantage of high-earning ad units like videos, rewarded videos and playable ads. In their turn, advertisers are constantly looking for ways to keep users interested and engaged in their ad content and are capable of offering you native advertising solutions ideas for your mobile app. So there great room for innovating in mobile app marketing. The study indicates that pn-app advertisement will continue to be a major revenue-earner in 2016.
5. Start creating Apps for wearables
The study points out that 32% of developers are more likely to build apps on wearables in the future, and they will go beyond health & fitness. Developers will be transferring theirown concentration from Smartphones to wearable device applications for enterprise and various industries in 2016.
6. Focus on quality traffic
Developers need engaged users. So, rather than creating a lot of apps, they should focus on building one that gets quality traffic so they can achieve good revenues.
All in all, being aware of this trends, businesses should hire the services of an mobile app development company that provides the mobile app developers competence in both iOS, Android and croos-platform development, but also in marketing and advertising.
You can download State of Mobile App Developers 2016 from here.