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Developer Middle Class Coming Back?

Developer Middle Class Coming Back?

When you hear about the middle class and distribution of wealth these days, you’d be hard pressed not to assume it was part of a political stump speech. However, in the case of a recent ReadWriteWeb article, it’s in regard to the developers who create the majority of the 600,000 and counting mobile apps available through the Apple App Store and Google Play.

The article centers on data from Flurry Analytics, which reports that the distribution of wealth among App Store and Play developers has never been wider. Flurry reports that the top 25 ranked Apple and Google apps account for 15 percent of total revenue, while apps 26-100 make up 17 percent. That’s compared to 2010, when the percentages were 28 and 27, respectively. Not exactly chump change when we’re talking about a market that Flurry projects to be worth close to $9 billion this year.

The good news is that there’s clearly a voracious demand for apps, given the amount of money the industry is generating and the number of apps that are available. It’s also promising to see a flattening of the market that indicates greater opportunity for more people to get a slice of a what’s become a very large pie.

Here’s the challenge: There are a lot of apps. A LOT. ReadWriteWeb cites information from adven that reports 26,646 apps were added to the App Store in June 2012. That’s 37 new apps an hour for a month straight! And it’s not even counting Play. According to adven, roughly 400,000 App Store apps have no visibility. ReadWriteWeb uses this to make a good point: “The developer class that earns 68 percent of revenue left by the top 100 ranked apps is effectively capped after the first 200,000 apps or so.”

So what’s a mobile app developer to do? The moral of this story is meant to be one of pragmatism rather than doom. No, not every app is going to be the next big thing (it would be interesting to learn how many developers truthfully knew they had a hit on their hands prior to launching what would turn out to be a successful app). Given the numbers above, though, there’s clearly an opportunity to carve out a space in the app ecosystem.

While Brightcove isn’t necessarily in the “app idea” business, we are very much committed to driving the app economy by providing the tools necessary to build and operate mobile apps. Nothing underscores that commitment and our desire to developers’ success more than the fact that we’re offering those tools for free.

Earlier this year, we introduced App Cloud Core, a free edition of our App Cloud mobile app platform. Not only does it allow Web developers to use the languages they know - like HTML5 and JavaScript - to create and manage native apps for iOS and Android, it lets them publish as many apps as they want at no cost.

Like ReadWriteWeb says, “The top spots in the App Store and Google Play rankings are not set in stone, and the market remains fluid, waiting for the right application to disrupt the top of the lists.” We want to help you get there.