In the popular imagination, if you have some creativity and want to make plenty of money, there's one place you should head: Hollywood. In fact, though, you'd be much better off if you learn how to develop mobile apps. According to industry analyst Horace Dediu on his Asymco blog, in 2014 app developers earned in total more from writing iOS apps than all of Hollywood brought in from the U.S. box office. And the developer figures don't even include numbers for Android, or money that developers make writing for private companies and the government. With high business demand for custom mobile apps, there is no shortage of demand for application developers.
Apple says that it paid out $10 billion to developers in 2014 as their share of revenues from the App Store. The company claims that was up 50% compared to 2013. It also says that it cumulatively, it has paid a total of $25 billion to developers since the App Store opened in 2008.
Those numbers caught the eye of Dediu, who says that the $10 billion is more than Hollywood made on the domestic U.S. box office in 2014. He notes that Hollywood makes significant revenue outside of the U.S. box office. But he explains, "Although the totals for Domestic (US) Box Office are not the complete Hollywood revenues picture, Apple's App Store billings is not the complete App revenue picture either. The Apps economy includes Android and ads and service businesses and custom development. Including all revenues, apps are still likely to be bigger than Hollywood."
Still, when it comes to developers, there are haves and have-nots, says readwrite, which notes that "50% of iOS developers and 64% of Android developers weigh in below the 'app poverty line,' i.e. making less than $500 per app per month," according to Vision Mobile.
Keep in mind, though, that the "app poverty line" only applies to developers writing apps for the general public and distributing them through Google Play and the App Store. Talk to developers who instead write apps for private businesses, and you'll find that they're in great demand, and are anything but living below the poverty line. With mobile usage only increasing, the demand for enterprises to mobilize their workforce will only grow. As their demands for mobile business apps increase, enterprise-level app developers will find themselves flooded with projects.