Making a living from Android

Hello, all,

First of all, sorry if this thread isn’t in the right place…

I’ve been working with android for just a few months, but already have earned a decent monthly revenue. I wonder if many of you are getting to make a living of this bussiness, as I was thinking about reducing my fixed job time to have more time to dedicate to the android apps.
My questions:

  1. The risks are too high?
  2. How is the oscillation of revenue along the year?
  3. Will push notifications ads (most of my revenue) have a long life?

Thanks for the opinions!


I am in the same position… not earning enough to quit my day job, but earning enough that I need to pay business taxes.

My thoughts are:

  • risks are high. After your one-hit-wonder, you need to be able to duplicate it again and again!
  • big studios will move in and the barrier to entry will soon be too high for a one-man dev team
  • advertising fluctuates through the year
  • you cannot guarantee that advertising eCPM/etc will not trend downwards (expect it!)
  • medical/dental/vision/retirement coverage from your day job ?

I’m making a living from Android but:

  1. I had a company before and was working as a freelancer,
  2. I don’t have family, so I can risk,
  3. I live in a country where $100 a day is a huge revenue and we all have public medical coverage,
  4. I still do some freelancing for old clients, which lowers the risks.

Those are smart concerns and ones that always get raised, but I personally think the first 4 can be solved:
1- Sure risks are high… if you’re a one-tick pony!! Just make TONS of games, throw stuff at the wall every month and see what takes off! Just like in any business, those who fall asleep on their success will find themselves on the street eventually…
2- I really doubt big studios will matter much in the casual games space because most people are looking for exactly that: a simple, casual game: Angry Birds, PVZ, iShoot, Canabalt, etc. they’re ALL simple games, whether they come from a big studio or not, whether they were made by a 1-person team or a 100-person team, anyone could make it. And if you’re smart about re-investing your revenue, finding the budget for advertising just like the big boys won’t be an issue. It’s just like in any other business, we need to ALWAYS be marketing, and through marketing our reach grows. And once we’ve got users on one game, we can cross-promote new games and keep growing.
3- Definitely! Which is why I keep babbling about in-app purchases :stuck_out_tongue: Advertising through a network is the most unstable business model around.
4- Totally! Read #3. But also, what is guaranteed is that IAP will keep rising and rising as people get used to microtransactions and millions of people get smartphones around the world.

This is a rising market which will rise for many more years, we’re just getting started!! I’d say start re-investing so you grow, start creating more and more apps, and as soon as you get to a comfortable revenue number (remembering to set aside a nice chunk of money for marketing every month) make the move and branch out on your own!! It’s the best feeling!! =D (I didn’t leave my job for Android development, but I did leave it to start my Internet Marketing business a few years ago and NEVER looked back :))

hmm. personally I don’t want to rely solely on anroid app development. We all are devs and so we just like to code them, but in the end, to make a really decent income out of it, you have to work very hard all the time and do not know exactly how much you will get.

(Ad) Income is far away from stable, and you may find yourself being stressed heavily when you have to pay your expenses every month again. Many devs here made their games beside their main jobs - so they just have time to make it.

Personally I do more aim for getting some sort of semi-passive income with my games - just an extra. I would really not want to rely completely on that income.
Also I just like to make something people have fun with without being forced (as a dev) to stick with timelines (like in dayjobs) - so coding android games is more like a hobby for me for relaxation-purposes if you like :slight_smile:

Sure, making money is a main goal, but depending on where and how you live you will need a very good and stable source of income. That means you are not allowed to make breaks, you’ll have to release always more and more, because revenue WILL drop sooner or later for every game. Re-Investing money is also only possible if you do not need it for your living :wink:

Yeah… I am sure I am like most people here:

  1. I have a day job
  2. I can earn some ‘extra’ on the side with android
  3. ‘Profit’ can be used for family holiday (or mortgage!)
  4. Hardware / computer stuff can be bought with pre-tax income from android (like any other business)… you just need to be able to justify it to the taxman!

point 4 is well underestimated by many users. you have to spent your income to spare taxes. To do so, you need to be able to spent it (and dont need it for living) … so in terms of taxing → just buy stuff with it :wink:

In my country i dont have to pay taxes for my app revenue. could you please tell me the percentage that you pay as taxes and how it works?

What country are you living in?

Yea, where you from, want also taxfree living :slight_smile:

I’m from Poland. I pay 18% of ad revenue - because ad networks are companies outside my country so I don’t have to pay VAT. With selling apps and in-game payments the tax is higher though: 23% VAT and then 18% tax from the rest (this is aproximately 33% of the value of the app). Adding to that 30% that Google takes I get 50% of the price of the app. I also pay about $500 a month for things like accounting, health insurance etc.

I founded a company focused on Android development. Although we are generating some revenue from some of our own apps, we still have to co-finance this by doing a lot of consulting work.
Aaand we really pay a lot of taxes.