We’ve got thoughts
App Monetization Is Hard, But Smart Developers Can Capitalize On A Shifting Landscape
// Alison Hill - March 7, 2014

74% of app developers make less than $1,000 a month. With one million apps in the App store (1) and over 1 million apps in the Play store (2), this means an enormous number of developers aren't getting paid for their work. It’s a theme we at Pinsight Media+ hear about every day. Developers tell us constantly that app monetization and discovery are the top two things that they need help with. Let’s state the obvious: Monetization is hard. Let’s talk through the two main drivers of monetization: revenues and discovery.

Here’s the good news - global mobile advertising spending is forecast to reach $18.0 billion in 2014, up from the estimated $13.1 billion in 2013, according to Gartner, Inc. (3) And even better? The market is expected to grow to $41.9 billion by 2017. But, the only way we get there…is to pair actionable data with relevant targeting. Developers need to begin thinking like advertisers! To an advertiser, an “ad impression” is only so valuable. Without context, without data, the value diminishes. If, however, a developer can provide context to that impression (think demographics, geolocation…what audience segment is this impression a part of?), its value increases. If a developer can also target an impression based upon data? Its value increases. Actionable data paired with relevant targeting will lead to stronger revenues.

App discovery, the other part of monetization, is just as challenging for developers. With over 1 million apps in each store, users are less willing to scroll through app after app to find what they are looking for. In fact, Gartner found that “most individuals are turning to recommendation engines, friends, social networks or advertising for app discovery, rather than sorting through the thousands of mobile apps available.” (3) The distribution model landscape is seismically shifting. Simply loading apps in to their respective stores is no longer enough for discoverability. There are too many apps!

App discovery maturing. And we, as developers, must adapt. We must begin to engage with potential users in the social space and yes…even through advertising.

Pinsight Media+ was formed by Sprint to tackle mobile data; we apply this data to enhance mobile advertising, commerce and analytics. Through our app monetization engine, we help developers drive revenue and distribution. Today, we’re excited to roll out a new Pinsight App Monetization Program to help developers succeed on both fronts.

Brian Arbuckle - Pinsight Media+ Manager, Developer Partnerships