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Study Shows Small Indie Developers’ App Store Revenue Increased by 71% Over Last Two Years

Study Shows Small Indie Developers’ App Store Revenue Increased by 71% Over Last Two Years

A new study has found that small developer revenue growth on the App Store has outpaced that of large developers, experiencing revenue growth of over 70% between 2020 and 2022. The study, dubbed “Small Business Developers and App Creators on the App Store in 2022,” was conducted by economists at Analysis Group.

The study found that small developers grew their revenue more than their larger counterparts. Small developers make up over 90% of all App Store developers. Small developers saw earnings increase across all app categories, but the largest gains came in the health and fitness, sports, and lifestyle app categories. Developers in the United States saw an increase of 83% in earnings over the last two years.

The study also found that 80% of app developers were active in multiple storefronts. About 40% of all app downloads originated outside of their home countries.

2022 saw thousands of new developers join the App Store for the first time. 25% of new developers were based in Europe, 23% were in China, U.S. developers made up 14% of new developers, and 4% of new developers resided in Japan. 35% of new developers hailed from other areas of the world, including South Korea, India, and Brazil.

Of the small developers who made over $1 million, 40% were either not on the App Store or earned less than $10,000 five years ago.

In addition to the general statistics, the Apple press release highlighted a duo of developers who have done quite well for themselves over the last two years.

The mental wellness app Mindful Mamas is designed to help mothers address the unique challenges of motherhood. The app was co-founded by licensed psychologist Terra LaRock and is operated by a team of four people. The app currently boasts 20,000 monthly users, and the most active users access the app twice per day. Of those active users, 86% reported feeling better after using the app.

Landscape design app iScape from iScape Holdings, Inc.,  was founded by Patrick Pozzuto, a landscape contractor with more than 10 years of experience. The app has experienced triple-digit percent growth yearly, tallying over 2.5 million downloads since its 2018 launch.

Apple has commissioned several ‌App Store‌ studies from Analysis Group in the face of growing pressure from various directions to open up the iOS and iPadOS operating systems to allow app sideloading and the use of third-party app stores. Apple is widely expected to allow European users to install apps from outside of the App Store as of the release of iOS 17 this fall, thanks to new requirements from the European Union.

Meanwhile, United States government officials are mulling legislation that would let developers offer their apps in third-party app stores and offer alternative in-app payment systems on iOS devices. Apple has financed studies like these from Analysis Group, as these studies can be used to sway regulators and the public to Apple’s way of thinking.