A new report by the EU Commission suggests EU app developers made €17.5 billion in revenue in 2013 and the EU forecasts that figure will increase to €63 billion in five years.
The EU also suggests, in its Sizing the EU App Economy report, the EU app developer workforce will grow from one million in 2013 to 2.8 million in 2018.
However, all is not rosy in the app developers’ garden. It is very difficult to make money as an independent developer. “In-house developers are by and large more satisfied in achieving their commercial objectives than independents, many of which are frustrated by low prices, free products, or barely-emerging ad revenues,” says the report.
The report was researched and written by Eurapp – a year-long project run by NUI Galway and Gigaom “to look at the opportunities and challenges facing the EU app economy”.
Not a rewarding business by and large
A recent global survey on mobile apps and app developers, by VisionMobile Ltd., suggests there were 2.3 million app developers on the planet in 2013, 760,000 of which live in Asia.
For those who think app development is a lucrative business, think again. 60% of those surveyed say they live below the “app poverty” line i.e. earning less than $500 per app, per month.
It’s not steady work either, 56% of apps built are built under short-term contracts while 26% of app developers develop apps just on commission.