The global app economy continues to grow, but much of the growth is coming from development firms, like RunMobile, that create custom apps for business, rather than app downloads and sales through app stores. This tidbit comes from digital news journal Quartz, which breaks down a new report from VisionMobile, a mobile app market research firm.
As shown in the chart above, commissioned apps, by far, are the largest source of mobile app developer revenue. The dollars generated through custom app development are three times higher than revenues generated from app store sales. As smartphones penetrate the developed world, app store revenue is expected to grow significantly, from $11.9 billion this year to $40 billion in 2016, but overall, the percentage of paid apps versus unpaid apps is expected to decline.
The report is drawn in part from a global survey of more than 6,000 developers in 115 countries. Researchers say even though commissioned app sales dominate total revenue, there are close to 1 million developers working on consumer apps, outnumbering those who concentrate on commissioned apps by about 400,000.