Distilling market noise into market sense

VisionMobile is the leading research company in the app economy and mobile business models. Our research and workshops help clients compete and win in their rapidly changing industries.

Sneak preview: Developer Economics 2013

[With only one week left till the end of our Developer Economics 2013 survey, Andreas Pappas offers a sneak preview into some preliminary results.]

Developer Economics 2013 - Developer Nation

With less than a week to go and over 2,000 developers responding so far, this has been one of our most successful developer surveys to date. It is also our largest project so far, involving the whole team at VisionMobile, 6 sponsors and 26 media and regional partners worldwide. But we don’t want to stop here; we want to push the limits even further and with your help we can achieve this. So, if you’re a developer, take the survey – if not, please help us spread the word far and wide!

Developer Economics reports reach over 35,000 industry members and help developers, platform vendors and other players understand trends and challenges in the app economy and make important decisions about platforms, tools, developer outreach activities and strategy.

If you haven’t taken the survey yet, now is the chance to have your say and shape the things to come. As a bonus, we’ve got some cool gadgets to give away to a few lucky respondents. Also, all respondents are eligible for a free three-month subscription to Bugsense bug-tracking and crash reporting service.

The Developer Economics survey shows some interesting trends so far. We won’t spoil the surprise, so we’re keeping the numbers for later on, after the survey ends and our analysis is completed. What we can reveal though are snippets from a first look into our data:

- Advertising services are the most popular developer tools
Ad services (including ad networks and mediation engines, e.g. AdMob) are the most popular tools, used by about a third of developers in our survey. The least popular services so far are Cross-Promotion networks and Voice services, the latter remaining a niche, used by less than 10% of all developers. If you’re a developer using these services we’d be really interested to hear from you.
- Android developers are picking up their tablets
Our results so far indicate a substantial increase in the number of Android developers that target tablets. This is not surprising following the release of the Nexus tablet, but it could be an indicator that Android is finally making inroads into the tablet market. Nevertheless, iOS remains the king of tablets, with an even larger number of iOS developers developing for iPads.
- Advertising is now a more popular revenue model than pay-per downloads
Last year the most popular revenue model was pay-per-download, used on average by 34% of developers, followed closely by advertising. The situation has now been reversed, with advertising taking the top spot among revenue models, in terms of popularity but not revenue.
- And the best platform is …
We asked developer to rate platforms they have already used or are planning to use against a set of attributes such as development cost, learning curve, app discoverability etc. When it comes to the best development environment the jury is split with Android and iOS fighting a very close battle. What’s your take on this?
- How do developers decide what app to develop?
Do developers sit around and wait for inspiration or do they pay for market research? Well, some of them do both. Others ask their users what apps they would like, while some develop me-too apps. But the majority of developers just develop the apps they want to use themselves!

That’s all we can say for now but stay tuned for the full results. We’re planning to release really interesting data on:
- platform mindshare
- revenues by platform
- revenue models that work best
- most popular developer tools by platform & app category
- developer tool ratings and selection criteria
- and much, much more!

Here’s a list of the tools included in our survey:

Ad Networks AdColony
AdMarvel
AdMob
AdWhirl
Airpush
Apple (iAd)
Burstly
Fiksu
Flurry
InMobi
Inneractive
JumpTap
Lead Bolt
MillenialMedia
mOcean Mobile
MobClix
Nexage
mopub
Smaato
warp.ly
Back-End as a Service ACS
Applicasa
Apstrata
Buddy
CloudMine
CloudyRec
Deployd
FeedHenry
iKnode
Kinvey
kumulos
mobDB
Parse
ScottyApp
sencha.io
StackMob
Usergrid (Apigee)
Trestle (Flurry)
QuickBlox
Bug Tracking Airbreak
Apphance
BugSense
Crashlytics
Crittercism
Hockey App
TestFlight
Usermetrix
Cross-Platform Tools Adobe AIR
Appcelerator
AppMobi
Brightcove
Corona
Marmalade
Mono
MoSync
PhoneGap
Qt
RunRev
Sencha
Unity
Cross-Promo Networks adDash
AdDuplex
AppCircle (Flurry)
Applifier
AppFlood (Papaya)
Chartboost
clashmedia
Fiksu
G6Pay
GreatPlay Network
Jampp
maudau
RevMob
SponsorPay
Tapjoy
W3i
Wavex (6waves)
User Analytics Apsalar
Bango
Distimo
Flurry
Google
Localytics
MobClix
mopapp
Testflight Live (Burstly)
UserMetrix
Voice Services AT&T
Deutsche Telecom
FonYou
GetVocal
HarQen
Hoiio
Ifbyphone
IOVOX
Jaduka
Microsoft
OneAPI
Sendflow
Skype
Telefonica
Teleku
TringMe
Tropo
Twilio
Verizon
Vivox

If you haven’t completed the survey yet there’s still some time to do so. We’d really like to hear about your developer experience, either via the survey or directly.

Also, don’t forget to spread the word!

- Andreas
You should follow me on Twitter (@pappasandreas)

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