What we say
During the WWDC keynote, a landmark statistic was revealed, namely that $1 Billion has been paid out to developers for their 70% cut on paid apps on the iTunes Store. This immediately led us to wonder how much money has been paid out to Android developers. The Android Market with support for paid apps became available about six months later than the iTunes App Store (Feb 2009 vs. July 2008). Also, at that time there were far fewer Android users than iPhone/iPod Touch. However, that gap has begun to close with 60+ different Android devices available and selling in higher quantities than the iPhone as of Q1 2010.
It is possible to get a reasonably good estimate of the amount of money paid out to developers on Android, as the range of sales is presented for each app in the market (ie. “1000-5000 downloads”). Using this as well some random sampling techniques, we are able to get an estimate that we think is accurate within a range of about 20%. However, we generally over-estimated numbers so as to be conservative in our comparison with the iTunes Store.
We pulled the relevant data from AndroidZoom.
Overall (as of June 18th, 2010), there were roughly 2,250 paid games and 13,000 paid non-game apps in the Market. The reason for the large number of apps vs. games is mainly due to the proliferation of spam apps, something which is much rarer in the games category. 4 games are in the 50,000-250,000 range, while 9 apps are in the 50,000-250,000 range. No paid app or game has yet exceeded 250,000 sales. Approximately 60 apps were in the 10,000-50,000 sales range, compared to approximately 45 games. It continues from there, with the vast majority of apps and games falling in to the ignominious “less than 50″ bucket.
Overall we estimate that $6,000,000 has been paid out to developers for games, and $15,000,000 has been paid out on apps. That is a total of $21,000,000, nearly 1/50th the amount paid out to devs on iPhone.
This really indicates how much of a cottage industry the paid Android Market remains, with insufficient sales numbers to warrant full-time labor for paid content. Other approaches, such as ad-supported apps, may prove to be more sustainable.
The green bars indicate the number of apps in each bucket, while the purple bars indicate the total estimated amount of money earned by apps in that bucket.
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