The fact of the matter is that most developers don’t make that much selling their apps on the app store. Half of all app store revenue goes to just the top 1% of all developers! That leaves the rest of us making a relatively small amount of revenue per app we’ve published. Studies show that 59% of app developers don’t even recover their development costs!
The App Store offers developers a lot of opportunity—for both success and failure.
Source: App Promo
Given this sobering reality how do most app developers stay in business or justify the costs associated with developing and promoting apps?
Many programmers who make a living developing apps help hedge the risks by diversifying their app portfolio. All serious and successful developers have several if not many different apps published under their account in addition to a large marketing budget.
To help offset some of the costs of developing and marketing apps we’re now seeing more developers starting to license their apps for use by other developers. Licensing apps helps developers generate additional and reliable revenue from code they’ve developed. It also benefits other developers who can quickly gain access to quality code they can re-use or re-brand under their own business.
Key Benefits from Licensing or Selling Source Code
● Helps save hundreds of developer’s hours.
● Allows for building of derivatives works quickly and efficiently.
● Increased revenue streams. License or sell multiple copies of code.
● Build a support services around the code you sell.
● Decreases barriers to entry into new markets.
● Helps increase your reputation as a developer.
● Increases opportunities for work or new partnerships.
● Use your code as a tool to help teach other programmers.
● Use as a template or engine for the basis of new apps.
It’s not uncommon for app developers to generate more revenue from licensing or selling code than from app sales on the app store. It can be very lucrative and many new marketplaces have been established for app developers interested in selling code they’ve written. These marketplaces allow developers to connect, partner, or establish new working relationships that often can take a languishing app to the next level.
As the app store(s) continue to mature we’ll see more consolidation and fewer independent developers in the app store. All of the talented “indie” developers will eventually want to join forces with larger more established entities that have more resources to help with promoting, investing, and building out apps so they can be competitive in the marketplace. As this happens we’ll see more opportunities for indie developers to sell or license high quality code making it one of the most profitable aspects of code development not only for mobile apps, but also for traditional, web, and cloud based apps.