Mobile Survey: What’s Working for App Developers in 2017?

Mobfox Team
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Another year, another mobile survey.

For the 2nd year in a row, Mobfox went door to door (not really), asking over 1,000 mobile developers about monetization, user engagement, and app promotion. And boy, did we find out some surprising stats and juicy insights that we can’t wait to share with you. So keep your eyes glued to the screen because you’re about to find out what’s working (and not working) for mobile app developers.

Check out our infographic and scroll down below to catch all the insights from this year’s mobile survey!


The Key to Monetization: Ads

How do app developers generate revenue? According to our survey, a whopping 84% of app developers monetize their app through ads and 61% claimed that ads bring in the most money. But which ad formats are the most effective? Well, as much as everyone’s touting video these days, those good ol’ banners and interstitials are still the best performing ads, with 38% of developers claiming that banners are still their top moneymaker, while 28% voted for interstitials.

This doesn’t mean that video isn’t quickly climbing the ranks though. Just this year alone, video has increased in popularity by 55%, jumping from 11% to 17% between last year and today! Looks like 2016 really was the year of video, and that trend will most likely be only going up.

What’s New with In-App Purchases?

After ads, in-app purchases are the second most popular form of monetization with 40% of app developers using in-app purchases and 27% stating that they make the most revenue for them.

But how long does it take a user to make an in-app purchase after opening an app for the first time? Although many developers still see a big chunk of in-app purchases within 24 hours, 47% of developers said it takes up to a week or even longer before in-app purchases come rolling in. So if you don’t see in-app purchases within the first 24 hours, give it some time. Another growing trend we’ve seen this year is that there are more users are becoming paying users. Last year, 26% of respondents stated that less than 1% of users were paying users, while this year that number has dropped down to 17%! In other words, more users are opening their wallets and making purchases.

The More Partners the Merrier?

When most of your revenue comes on behalf of app promotion and app monetization efforts, it’s not that surprising that many app developers seek the assistance of experts. When asked how many app monetization partners they work with, 57% said that they work with not one, but two or more ad monetization partners.

And as for advertising, while many app developers choose to do in-house advertising, it appears that the majority don’t, with 56% working with at least one app promotion service. Furthermore, 69% of app developers who employ app advertising services work with two or more partners.

Missing Out on App Store Ads

One of the biggest shocks of the survey was the response we saw regarding App Store Ads: 68% of app developers either don’t use them or haven’t even heard about App Store Search Ads, which were launched by Apple back in October. When the majority of apps get lost in the App Store, it’s surprising that more app developers aren’t using every tool at their disposal to get their app on users’ phones.


So what do you think? Are you surprised and shocked by any of these insights? Or is it what you expected? Feel free to let us know in the comments below.

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One response to “Mobile Survey: What’s Working for App Developers in 2017?”

  1. Brew Survey says:


    These are some great tips for app developers. I am planning to develop a survey app and I simply stumbled upon your blog and wanted to mention that I am going to use these tips.

    Thank you.

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