The four developer financing methods have a number of advantages and disadvantages. On a platform that is increasingly tending towards subscriptions, in-app purchases are increasingly accepted among users.
According to a study conducted by Sensor Tower on the U.S. App Store (which often mirrors most App Stores in other regions), in-app shopping is a business that has grown over the past year, from an average of $47 per iPhone in 2016 to an average of $58 per iPhone in 2017 . As expected, games have taken the lion’s share, about $36 on average per iPhone. The next categories are Entertainment, Music, Social Networking and Lifestyle.
These numbers include in-app purchases made through Apple’s payment platform. That is, small payments to unlock options and subscriptions to services such as Netflix, although payments for purchases at Amazon or payment for a trip at Uber, for example, are not included.
On the other hand, Sensor Tower has also collected the average downloads of apps by iPhone. During 2017, on average each iPhone had about 45 applications installed , 10% more than in 2016. Games remain the category par excellence, with around 13 games per iPhone. It is followed by the Photo and Video category, but it is down by 10% compared to 2016. Another one that has grown is the Entertainment category.
Right or wrong, the truth is that the subscription model and in-app shopping are paying off . For developers it is much more profitable and above all stable than one-off payments or advertising funding. For Apple more or the same, as it takes 30% or 15% of each purchase. Users in return receive better apps, with more constant updates and greater flexibility to use or stop using each app.