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Infographic shows Over Half of Apps Fail to Cover Development Costs

These days, it seems like any app is a candidate for acquisition by some giant like Zynga or Facebook. So what better market for a developer to get into than the App Store? Sadly, the reality of making and selling an app isn’t what it looks like from the outside, as evidenced by this infographic created and released by App Promo.

As you can see, it’s anything but a cakewalk for developers trying to get an app to blow up. In fact, well over half of the respondents to the survey behind this infographic said they made $5,000 or less off sales of their product. Only 1/5th of developers make enough money to keep their businesses going, and 63% said they’d never broken 50,000 downloads.

But there’s light at the end of the tunnel, or at least that’s what App Promo wants developers to think. The company that made the infographic works with developers on strategy, marketing, and monetization, so it makes sense that there’s a message here. But if you take their word for it, devoting both time and money to marketing is the key to upping your app’s chances for success.

True as that may be, I’m still holding to the idea that the actual design of an app is the biggest factor. Sure, getting eyes on your product is huge, but I don’t think Angry Birds, Instagram or Draw Something would be anywhere today if they didn’t offer an experience that was near impossible to put down.

Seems like the advice from App Promo might be best applied to developers aiming at the middle of the market. Maybe you’re not going to be the next Angry Birds, but putting some thought and effort into marketing might be how your app could end up sustaining itself in the long run.

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