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First Month on the Android Market (makingmoneywithandroid.com)
52 points by obviator on June 20, 2011 | hide | past | favorite | 23 comments

I don't consider $3.88/month to be "making money with Android". Granted, it's only the first month, but if this was on the iOS App Store at $0.99 he'd only have to sell 6 copies to make that same amount of money (18 if he wanted to offset the monthly cost of being in the iOS developer program) rather than 965 total Android installs.

That's true, I chose the advertising method for this app, although its probably slower than selling a paid app on the App Store or Android Market. The biggest factor that led me to decide on a free app was the ability to gather some useful analytics. Publishing a paid app might make more money in the short term, but only get a total of a few dozen installs. Since this was my first app, I thought it would help to do some market research first. Now there are about 1000 active users which gives me a good indication of where to focus future development effort. :)

You need a bigger organic marketing push:

1. How many android app preview websites did you contact and send a demo to?

Haven't contacted any at this stage - thanks for the tip though, I'll definitely look at doing that in future. I guess with this app I was just so focussed on the development side of things, and getting the whole process working that I didn't spend much time marketing the app itself.

Does anyone have a recommendation for some good app review websites? I've seen a few spammy ones around, just wondering if there's one or two sites people actually find useful?

He chose the advertising route, it is a lot harder to make money that way on either platform, unless he has a big hit.

So why would you not immediately switch to a paid model?

Because only the citizens of a handful of countries are allowed to sell applications on Android market.

I'm really surprised you get such a surge of downloads from being in the just-in queue. Looks like I'll be pushing minor updates once a week now!

Be aware though - Google has a system in place to prevent gaming the just-in queue. So if you push updates too frequently they won't appear in the list. I've had this happen with my app a few times.

It seems that 8 days is the minimum time between updates, to qualify for this "just-in" status. A few developers have reported this figure, and it's worked for me recently.

Release Early, Release Often - just not too early and not too often.

I really appreciate when devs are willing to put out information like this. Not just the money, but also what the process and experience is like. I was inspired by a previous HN post about starting Android development to try it myself. I actually started (am?) writing about it in story form. Considered posting on HN, but I fear HN's wrath, as I am a mere mortal.

I'd love to hear your story, it's always great to read about another developers experience even if it's not always a runaway success. Would you mind sharing the link? Or else you could email me thebigbyte [at] gmail [dot-com]

Am I the only person who thinks we have a funny game theory situation where developers should stop giving their apps away for free on Android so that users get used to paying the same way they do on iOS?

I don't really understand why Angry Birds is free on Android? Anybody know?

Edit: Spelling

Angry Birds is also free on iOS, that is the lite version with ads. Then users like me get addicted to the gameplay and a few times of getting nag-screened is enough for me to purchase.

As a consumer, I like this approach with games because many times there are games that are fun, but just not fun enough for a purchase or the replay-ability factor is just low. So if I find myself going back to a game more than a few times, the purchase is such low cost (less than coffee) that it is worth it to get rid of nag-screens.

Also, regarding Android and free... most people that buy Android phones are expecting free stuff. The cost of those phones is roughly the same as an iPhone, it's just the mindset is different.

I truly love how the most constructive comment here (by zrgiu) got downvoted into oblivion just because it was critical.

While Hacker News was once a relevant, useful place to find good tech news, it's quickly degenerating into a steaming pile of shit driven by a bunch of thin-skinned Android sycophants. It's unfortunate (not to mention how unfortunate it is that such a useless post as this is even on the front page here to begin with).

Ugh, assuming it's the same zrgiu who made Antivirus free, I really want to read what he has to say. That's what I get for being late. :(

Anybody mind reposting it in quotation marks if they happen to have it saved? Or if zrgiu himself could post of a summary of what he originally said, that would be grand.

Agreed that zrgiu's comment was constructive and had some good advice. No idea why it was downvoted so quickly.

I really hope he does a follow-up post that breaks down how he spent his $3.88. After about 3 months of revenue, he'll even be able to afford to buy spendingmoneywithandroid.com.

Downvote away!!

I couldn't disagree more and I salute the OP for his efforts. The point is that he is documenting his journey from day 1. You obviously don't make money on day 1. I hope he rides the wave and reaches and then exceeds his goal of $1000 per month. I'd be inspired by that.

"You obviously don't make money on Day 1."

I don't know about Android, but I made hundreds of dollars on Day 1 of my app being available on the iPad App Store and know a LOT of friends who have made thousands of dollars on Day 1 from their iPhone apps. Please don't generalize about app sales revenues across Android and iOS because it's like comparing raindrops to a downpour.

I was talking about documenting the whole journey from day 1. Nobody makes money on the first day of their journey. I am sure many people make significant money on the first day their app is available, and I congratulate you for being one of those people.

billforsternz's generalizations are probably based on available data.

Where is your story?

My story isn't unique (for decent iOS apps) so I didn't bother writing about it. If you want information from iOS developers making buckets of cash read tap tap tap's blog or Tapbots' blog or Loren Brichter's Tweetie stats chart or Trism's story or Pocket God's blog or...

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