How Much Can An App Make For You?

18 May


Should I consider developing an app for my business? Will that make money for me? How much revenue will I be able to generate if at all? Which platform should I choose? These are some of the questions that fill the minds of anyone planning to invest in a mobile app. Quite often business owners get discouraged from building mobile apps thinking there is just too much competition in the app market and the costs of creating an app could far outweigh the returns. But guess what? In the mobile app world, there are innumerable opportunities to succeed and the market is only going to grow even further in the years to come. 

Let’s see the revenue earning potential of the top apps in the industry. 

The top 200 apps on the app store earn around $82,500 daily. Among these, different category apps earn differently. For example, game apps approximately earn around $22k daily whereas entertainment apps generate $3090 on a daily basis. As you may have guessed, there can’t be a straight cut answer for how much your app can earn for your business. Having said that, for a mobile app to do well there are certain key factors that you must pay attention to.

In this article, we answer all the questions you may have while considering developing a mobile app for your business and the various revenue models you can use. 

The Platform You Choose

How much money your business mobile app makes depends largely on the platform you choose to develop it on. The top two app distributors for this are iOS and Android. Each of these systems has its own customer base and are leading in different departments. For example, while iOS has a market share of 22.9% in the mobile industry, Android enjoys the largest market share at 75.82%. Does this mean Android is a better choice? Not exactly. Because even with a lower market share the average in-app purchase per user is a lot higher for iOS than it is for Android which levels the play-field for both. So, while the revenue for Google Play Store in 2019 was $29.3 billion, Apple Store app earned $54.2 billion dollars. No wonder, choosing between the two platforms often turns out to be a debate with no end to it. 

In the current year, the expected user expenditure for both the platforms is projected to be $123 billion, with Google Play Store leading at $78 billion. Thus, choosing the right platform is a critical strategic decision that can decide how much you earn in the long term. If you want to build an app which can explode within a short period and reach the masses quicker, an Android app is a viable choice. Millions of Android users download apps every day but they may not be as enthusiastic about spending money on in-app purchases. On the other hand, if you don't mind being less visible and are only targeting a particular stratum of the society to monetize your app and generate high revenues, iOS can be a good choice.

The payment methods of both Android and iOS differ slightly.


  • Payments are released in a 30 days cycle.
  • No minimum earnings threshold required to withdraw your earnings.


  • Payments are released within 45 days of the last working day of a month when the app purchases were made.
  • Before the payments can be released to you, you should have the minimum threshold earnings. In case you don’t, it gets carried forward to the next payment date till you earn such a minimum amount. 

It is worth noting that for both the platforms, there is a similar commission rate of 30-70. This means, out of the total earnings of whatever the users pay, the business owners get 70% share whereas the platform keeps 30%. 

Once you have chosen your platform, the next big step is to decide on the revenue model for the mobile app based on your niche. 

The Revenue Models to Earn Money from Your Mobile Apps

There are four main app revenue models that you can choose from:

  • One-Time Payment

A lot of premium mobile apps charge the user one-time download fee, be it on the Apple Play Store or Google Play Store. This often leads to a misconception that since it's a one-time fee, the revenue generation through this business model might not account for much. However, that is far from the truth. In the year 2017, Paid apps generated a revenue of nearly $250 Billion. In the educational category, powerhouses like WolframAlpha earned a revenue of $20,000 in just one month, October 2019. 

  • In-App Purchases

Powering the apps with in-app purchases is a common feature in most gaming applications. Think Candy Crush pestering you to buy coins for more lives? Candy Crush app makes more than a whopping $800,000 through in-app purchases each day. Another example is Fortnite which generated a revenue of $203 million in May 2019 through in-app purchases even as the game remains free to download for users.

  • Subscription Model

This revenue model requires the customers to pay a recurring fee to access the services of the mobile app. This should remind you of all the online streaming apps such as Netflix, Hotstar and Amazon Prime that use this revenue model. As of the third quarter of 2019, Netflix earned $5.2 Billion in revenue from subscriptions. Another popular app Pandora’s revenue stood at a whopping $447 billion as of September 2019. Compared to the revenues earned in September 2018, this marked an increase of nearly 30 million.  

  • Advertisements

In-app advertising is another guaranteed way of earning money through mobile apps. For every ad of another brand that you play within your app, you can opt for a Click Per View agreement. The average income you can earn for banner ads is $0.01 per click. So, if your app gets 20,000 hits daily you can earn approximately $200 per day regularly. Exponent these numbers and you realize how much it can help you to maximize your app revenues. If you opt for this method though, you must be careful to not flood your users with advertisements as that can really hamper their user experience and discourage them from using the app for a long time. 

Now, let us look at the types of mobile apps that are currently doing the best in the app market and are all set to rule the charts even in the upcoming years.

Some Types of Mobile Apps with High Revenue Generating Potential In 2020

Segmenting the apps can give you a clear picture of where your current business idea falls. It can have a huge impact on your earnings too. Some of the niches that are the top riders in the mobile app category include gaming apps, music apps, social media apps, e-commerce, business and finance apps. Gaming apps, in particular, have been the largest contributor to global app revenues. Additionally, with the advancement of technology and enhanced graphics, there is a never-seen-before boom that we are experiencing in this niche.

Another noteworthy industry domain that is fairing spectacularly well in the mobile app industry is  e-commerce business. The millennial generation with its inclination towards buying everything online is the biggest factor turning things rosy for this sector. By the year 2021, more than 2.14 billion people worldwide are estimated to buy services or products online.

These statistics are clear evidence that for any business, irrespective of its niche or how large or small it is, building a mobile app can contribute significantly to maximizing their profits.

Future of Mobile App Development

The Internet of Things (IoT) is being touted as the next big technology that can elevate the success level of mobile app developments. According to a report by Techjury, by the year 2025, there are projected to be approximately 64 Billion IoT devices. The market will value at around $2.48 Trillion by the year 2020 and expected to reach an estimated $16 Trillion by 2025. In other words, if all the above factors are carefully analysed by businesses, they can churn out massive revenues in the long run.

Key Takeaway

While there is no direct answer to how much can an app make for you, you can safely say it depends on a few key factors. These include the platform you choose, your app’s quality, your initial investment, your revenue model and the nature of your business, among others. The existing projections indicate that the growth rate of mobile app development is only going to rise with each quarter. In short, the future of mobile applications is on the right trajectory.

If you want a piece of the pie and build your business a responsive mobile app, iIluminz can help your business boom in the digital market. We pride on our team that consists of the industry’s most knowledgeable and experienced professionals with expertise in building user-friendly apps for various niches. 

Got a business idea you’d like to build on? We are here to help. Get in touch and we would be happy to become your success partners on your next project.