August 1, 2014

See, You Can Make Money with Android Apps

Hey look, a success story for an Android developer!  We’ve been waiting for the day when a developer steps up and says, “Hey!  I make pretty decent money from Android!”  While it’s not quite the runaway success that Trism was, Edward Kim is tickled pink with his app’s performance.  We’re only too happy to share his story.

Kim’s app, Car Locator, started out as something he did on the side when he was on vacation. Fast forward about 5 months and just under 7,000 downloads later and his app is on pace to grab $13,000 a month. The free version of his app has seen over 70,000 downloads of its own as well. So what’s the secret? Turns out, it might be Google.

Car Locator is now a featured app in the Android Market. This means that you see the name and app more often than you do for other titles. You’ll see the application sliding in and out of the front page of the market each time you open it up.

Buy Car Locator for Yourself!

In terms of overall paid apps, Kim estimates that he’s somewhere in the ballpark of 100-200th. Can we assume that there are this many other developers enjoying a similar fate? Hard to say. The featured status is probably the key. It also doesn’t hurt when you can put “3rd place in ADC2″ in your app’s description.

Here’s a couple of things pointed out by Kim on his blog:

  • The application was netting an average of about $80-$100/day, until it became a featured app on the Marketplace. Since then, sales have been phenomenal, netting an average of $435/day, with a one day record of $772 on Valentine’s Day. Too bad I didn’t have a Valentines date this year — we would’ve gone somewhere real special!
  • There appears to be clear peaks on the weekends and during holidays. This was always my hunch, but I think I can finally say this with certainty since the signal-to-noise ratio is much better now.
  • Some may be quick to point out that a featured Android application is only able to net $400/day, while top iPhone apps make thousands. But the Android market appears to rotate applications in and out of the featured apps list in some psedo-random fashion. Every time I open the Marketplace app, the featured list is different and most of the time, I don’t even see my app on there.
  • The price of the application was increased from $1.99 to $3.99. I ran a few price experiments and was surprised to see that though I doubled the price of the app, the number of purchases decreased by much less than half. Android users appear to have a willingness to pay more than a couple dollars for apps.
  • Piracy appears to be an increasing problem. A quick search for Car Locator on Twitter reveals links where people can download the .apk file without paying. I tend to have the same attitude on piracy as Balsamiq, so I’m not too worried about it, but I would love to hear some typical statistics on Android piracy.

Congratulations to Edward for his newfound success.  We’re sure you’ll see an additional bump as a result of your story hitting the internet!