Is App Revenue Decreasing for iOS Developers?

Data analysis website Asymco recently ran some numbers and came up with an average that might seem surprising to app developers. Apple regularly boasts high revenue numbers. At the WWDC 2012 Keynote address, it was announced that Apple paid out more than $5 billion in revenue to developers. By averaging revenue with app downloads, it appears that per-app download revenue and payout rate has dropped over the past six months. What gives?

The chart analysis is far from perfect. There are unknowable factors that are not taken into account. However, the team that came up with the figures was able to create a reasonable estimate of average app revenue based on Apple’s reported revenue payment to developers as well as cumulative download count.

Based on the analysis, the overall average revenue per app is $0.24. Revenue for last quarter appears to be averaging $0.20 per app.

According to the summary,

Although there has been a drop in the revenue and payout rate in the last six months, the cause may be due to seasonal effects. We have not been able to see data that might show seasonality in prior years so we can’t be sure it exists. However, it makes sense to me that new buyers are likely to engage in a burst of app buying and there are more iPhone purchases in the second half of the year than in the first.

Obviously, this is rough material and should not be taken as definitive data regarding app revenue for developers. However, the base information makes a whole lot of sense, especially when you take into account how many apps have followed the “freemium” trend. Revenue in this analysis does include money made from in-app purchases, but there are a lot of app downloaders that don’t pay the additional cash for in-app purchases, which could skew the per-app revenue that developers make. Keep in mind that this is an estimate of averages, not exact numbers.

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