back to article Flogging an iTunes app? Just 4k downloads will get you in Top 10

A free app in iTunes' US top 10 gets around 70,000 downloads daily, while a paid app needs just 4,000 nods from fanbois to get to the top of the tree – but markedly fewer on a Tuesday. The numbers come from number-crunchers Distimo (free with registration), but combine with those from NetBiscuits (also free, also requires …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Pretty much suggests you are unlikely to make much money developing an App.

    $4300 if your app runs in the top three for a full year. That doesn't usually happen.

    1. Khaptain Silver badge

      Is that $4300 daily, weekly, monthly or yearly.

      Daily or weekly would do just fine.

      1. Cliff

        》》Is that $4300 daily, weekly, monthly or yearly.

        I read the article to say $12/day which is pretty shabby. It might cover your lunch, not your rent though.

        1. Great Bu

          That's what I thought

          I interpret it as $12 per day too, which is basically Eastern European Prostitute Blow Job money, not really a living however low your development costs are........

          1. Khaptain Silver badge

            Re: That's what I thought

            Where I work , $12 certainly doesn't cover lunch and the prostitues wouldn't even spit on you for that price.

        2. PhilF

          Not as bad as it sounds

          $12 per day in the US alone, so presumably a better wage if you have good translations or your app is not language specific.

          I'm guessing that the potential rewards for a genuine success are big enough given the size of some of the companies producing apps (and of course if you port over to andriod you have another market to exploit)

          1. Fink-Nottle

            Re: Not as bad as it sounds

            I suspect the figure should be $12k per day - which coincidently is what I charge for a BJ.

            I know that a top grossing app like AngryBirds can generate a daily revenue of around $250k per day.

          2. Ralph B

            Re: Not as bad as it sounds

            The actual Distimo report says "An app that ranked number 50 in the top grossing charts in the Apple App Store for iPhone in the U.S. generated $12K on average per day during May 2013, while on iPad this number was $10.2K. The revenue was significantly lower in Google Play at $6.6K."

            So, that's $12,000/day not $12/day, so can we stop talking about eastern european blow jobs now, thank you very much.

            1. Khaptain Silver badge

              Re: Not as bad as it sounds

              Agreed, if it is 12K a day then we should be talking about a lot more than justs BJs.........

              Kinda makes you wonder though if it wouldn't be worthwhile writing a "Rent a BJ" app. You get a percentage from Apple and a percentage from the Prostitutes.....

              Win Win for everyone.

            2. Mark .

              Re: Not as bad as it sounds

              Seeing something like the median average would be far more useful. We already know that a lucky few can make millions, but that's not so useful for the majority of people who end up being lured by the promise of making money. When the few applications that are already top are the ones who get all the publicity, you need a big marketing campaign to do well.

              Also does this take into account ad revenue, when comparing different platforms? (And personally, I prefer a platform where more things are available for free.)

  2. Cliff

    Angry Birds Activity Park

    Bloody hell, that sounds like the worst of all worlds. They even have all the angry birds looking happy and smiling in the promo guff, not so angry any more it seems.

    1. Thomas Whipp

      Re: Angry Birds Activity Park

      I've been (although in fairness I took the kids to Lightwater valley as it was effectively £15 for the day using tesco vouchers - and while we were there we spend about 10 minutes in the angry birds bit )

      its basically 2-3 big climbing frames and few games where you have to jump on numbers on the ground following a sequence... its fun for about 15 minutes and then the kids got bored and we went on the other rides and watched the bird centre show (which is good!)

      the whole Angry Birds bit isnt more than 50m x 50m, calling it a theme park in its own right is just silly.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    $12 a day in the US alone!!! Wow so the worldwide market is probably double that (seeing as everything in the biggest market, China, is pirated and/or shanzhai) $24 a day!!! Maybe you might hit $30 if you're lucky.

    To be fair I think it's because the whole apps thing is still a relatively new paradigm, people (especially on Android) seem petrified of paying a quid for an app that they will get a lot of use out of, but will go out and drop a fiver on lunch from some shithole like Pret, that always makes me laugh. As an Android user myself I have to say the platform does attract cheap bastards, but I think over time people will get more used to the idea of buying apps.

    Incidentally any figures on how much the advertising on popular free apps generates in comparison?

    1. Mark .

      Though the flipside is, why pay when you can get something for free. I think that as Android grows, whilst we might see more people spending, increased supply of developers will mean an end to "get rich quick" - people will pay for a commercial quality product with months or years of development, but not for some quick thing coded up in days.

      One of the things I don't like though is there's no way in Google search to distinguish between free and ad-supported, with most of the latter not even telling you. Annoying as a user, but also annoying for freeware or Open Source devs, who are giving a product for free, but get lost in the noise.

      As for cheap bastards, special mention should go to the ones who download my completely free and ad-free apps, say they like it, but give me one star review (in one case with an insult) because it also required a 3rd party library (Qt in my case) which they then don't like either because they don't like downloading another app or (ironically) they think it might have ads (even though I clearly document the requirement). It's like, I'm sorry I wasted 10 seconds of their precious time downloading something completely for free, have fun with your other apps that are infested with ad-ware. Oh, and then there was the one who gave one star because I didn't reply to an email six months ago. I feel so sorry that something completely free doesn't give him much in the way of customer service, especially when I never even received such an email...

  4. Mage Silver badge

    "paid app needs just 4,000" [Daily]

    So to get a weeks publicity in top 10 if your app sells at $1 you buy $28,000 which will really cost you nearly $9,000 (Apple gets 1/3rd?), right?

    If you were really selling 4K copies a day at $1 then that is about $20K income per week, or about $6.5K a day?

    You need to be as desired as a $1000 PC application probably to sell an App at more than $20? So this suggests there will be very few heavyweight Apps in the iTunes / Play store, unless they are a port of a high reputation expensive PC Application.

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