Why It's So Hard To Make Money From The iTunes App Store

An analysis of iTunes revenue by Asymco suggests that the average iTunes user spends $US16 a year on apps. With the vast majority of app downloads being free, developers have to work hard to persuade consumers to part with even 99 cents.

Asymco's analysis suggests the average user spends $US16 a year on apps, $US9 a year on software, $US12 a year on music and $US4 a year on video. As an average, those figures are undoubtedly flattened by inactive iTunes account holders, but even if you double them it's still not a massive amount of revenue to chase.

We've seen via analysis of Apple's own official (if scant) numbers that the vast majority of app downloads are for free apps, and this data chimes with that trend. The $US9 a year for software (which means Mac software in this context) might suggest another route, but it's worth remembering that number includes paid-for updates from Apple itself (such as major OS X releases) as well.



    What's worse, if you exclude the top 100 apps, the profits are even smaller - either you have a raging success, or bust - with the clear majority of apps being "bust". I considered writing apps a number of times, but it doesn't matter what the app is - there are hundreds of similar apps already existence.

    Unless you get featured on the App Store or Lifehacker, you will fade into obscurity :)

    Doesn't look like especially useful research to be honest. Being that you MUST have an iTunes account in order to use your iPhone or iPad, there will literally be millions of accounts from this study that have never even considered purchasing music, video and in many cases, apps. They just have an account because Apple says they must in order to use their phone. It would be interesting to exclude those accounts from the research and look at the numbers again.

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