Apple has released the findings of a new study conducted by economists from the Analysis Group. The study, funded by the tech giant itself, highlights a significant 71% revenue growth for small developers on the App Store over the past two years.
These findings are part of Apple’s ongoing efforts to demonstrate its platform’s positive impact on small businesses amid global regulatory challenges to its App Store practices.
Apple study reveals App Store’s positive impact on small developers’ earnings and its vitality
According to the study, which defines “small developers” as those earning up to $1 million annually with fewer than one million downloads, revenue growth has been remarkable.
In 2022, more than 90% of developers on the App Store were classified as small developers, underscoring the significance of their contributions to the platform. These developers experienced an impressive 71% increase in total earnings between 2020 and 2022.
The study also highlights the growing trend of small developers actively engaging with multiple storefronts. In 2022, nearly 80% of these developers were present on various platforms. Additionally, approximately 40% of total downloads of apps from small developers originated from users outside their home countries, emphasizing the global reach and impact of their creations.
The report sheds light on specific app categories that have flourished among small developers. Health and fitness, sports, and lifestyle apps experienced more than double earnings in the past two years, indicating high demand and a receptive user base for these applications. These statistics highlight the opportunities available for small developers in niche markets.
Apple’s App Store Business Program, which allows developers to qualify for a reduced commission rate of 15% if they earn up to $1 million per year, has had a notable impact. Over 40% of developers who sold digital goods and services on the App Store and earned more than $1 million in 2022 were either new to the platform or had limited earnings in the five years prior. This program has clearly fostered growth and enabled developers to thrive in the competitive app market.
Amid ongoing antitrust scrutiny, Apple aims to showcase the positive economic impact of the App Store for small businesses. The company’s decision to open the iPhone to third-party app stores and side-loading in the European Union as part of iOS 17 this fall reflects its response to regulatory pressures and willingness to adapt to changing market dynamics.