It’s always been the accepted belief that Apple’s iOS platform was the best way for developers to monetize apps by far. Now, that’s all changing. Thanks to the greater diversity of app monetization strategies, such as in-app purchases, driving traffic through social channels, and advertising, Android is making strides in closing the monetization gap.
For a long time it was reported that iOS monetization was five times better than what you could make on Android, said Raj Aggarwal, CEO and co-founder of Localytics. But because there are so many more ways of examining the data that tells a developer who is interested in their app, and different methods of making money from users, things are changing. “iOS’s lead, in terms of the minds of developers, is only slight right now,” according to Aggarwal. Android is a much closer second than previously thought.
President and Chief Science Offiver for Kontagent, Josh Williams agreed, saying “iOS actually monetizes only 40 to 50 percent better than Android, from the data we’ve seen. It’s actually pretty viable.”
And in some cases, Android can even be more profitable, if developers and their marketers are really focused on their objectives, he said.
“While Android monetizes a little less well on a per user basis than iOS, the acquisition costs on Android today are much lower on a per user basis. So sometimes profitability on Android is higher,” said Williams. “Smart businesses that are operating scientifically look at that and allocate their spend for development and marketing across platforms on a profit per user and profit per install basis.”
Platforms such as Windows Phone and Blackberry aren’t even in the conversation for most mainstream app makers. For most app makers, it’s still all about Apple and Google’s mobile platforms.
One area where iOS still holds a really big lead in the minds of developers is iOS for the enterprise.
“More than 70 percent are focused on iOS for the enterprise,” said Jeff Haynie, CEO of Appcelerator. ”BYOD is a big trend … and I’ve heard quite a number of concerns about customers being burned from a security standpoint on Android,” said Haynie.