App Developers Conference Survey Finds Piracy, Discoverability To Be Key Issues Facing App Creators

More than 250 App Developers Provide Insight on Targeted Platforms and App Stores, App Verticals, Monetization Methods, and More In Advance of Inaugural ADC Event

Sep 23, 2013

SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 23, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Piracy and discoverability are the top issues facing app developers today, according to new research conducted by the organizers of the inaugural App Developers Conference (ADC).  In order to paint a picture of the app development landscape as it stands right before ADC, more than 250 app creators were surveyed on topics ranging from targeted platforms and app stores to app verticals, monetization methods and more.  Organized by the UBM Tech Game Network, creators and producers of the largest and longest-running professionals-only game industry conference, the Game Developers Conference (GDC), ADC will take place November 5th-7th at the Los Angeles Convention Center and will be co-located with another inaugural event, the future-facing GDC Next.

26% of surveyed devs had their apps pirated; of those with IAP, same percentage saw them hacked

The ADC survey found that piracy is a major issue with app developmentthough it appears that some developers feel the sting far more heavily than others.  26% of surveyed developers reported that their apps had been pirated.  Of those developers whose apps use in-app purchases (IAP), a similar 26% found that their IAPs had been hacked (that is, obtained without payment).  7% of respondents were familiar with their app's piracy statistics, either from internal checks, analytics, or other sources, and some of those provided anecdotal evidence.  "Of our 8M+ total downloads," one said, "1.5M+ have been pirated, mostly in Russia and China."  
Another stated that, on Android, "approximately 90% in-app purchases were faked."  Yet another said, "Flurry analytics unique users: 11862.  App Store downloads: 1141. 90.4% pirated copies."

Discoverability cited as #1 problem with app ecosystem

In a free-form survey question, developers were asked to identify what they felt to be the biggest problem within the current app development market.  Most answers connected to problems with discoverabilityalbeit from different ends of the spectrum.  Developers frequently described app stores as "crowded" and "overpopulated with low-quality apps"; others also noted that users' expectations for free apps made it hard to charge even $0.99 for their higher-quality app.  Other developers cited platform and device fragmentation as their main issue: "Too many devices and operating systems to support," "Too many app stores," "Too many competing platforms," "Different languages and stores," and other similar comments came up very frequently.

When it came to how their studio attempted to solve said problems, most developers were fairly clear: Make better apps.  "Create the best app possible," "Build a quality app," "Make innovative apps," "Give them an app worth paying for," "Make things that matter," and similar responses were very common.

Games rule app verticals, but developers are willing and able to diversify

Games were by far the most popular app category: 69% of surveyed devs made games, followed by entertainment (37%), education (32%), lifestyle (22%), brand marketing (21%), enterprise (16%) and health/wellness (14%).  But the respondents didn't only make games; a significant portion of game dev respondents also made apps for general entertainment (38%), education (29%), brand marketing (17%), lifestyle (15%), health and wellness (11%), and even enterprise (11%).

The entire survey, which also covers questions of studio size, profits and monetization, app platforms and stores, can be downloaded for free at

ADC is an entirely new event from the creators of the acclaimed Game Developers Conference focusing on the very best programming, architecture, UI, marketing and business of apps outside of games.  Speakers include notables from Evernote, Dropbox, Netflix, Pandora, Six To Start, Tumblr and a multitude of others.  The show is co-located with Game Developers Conference Nextan in-depth event that will feature detailed content about creating the game experiences of the future, from free-to-play through indie and next-gen platforms.

ADC will run November 5th-7th at the Los Angeles Convention Center, and the early registration cap of 500 reduced-price attendees is rapidly being reached, so attendees should consider signing up now.  More information is available at the official App Developers Conference website

About the UBM Tech Game Network
A core provider of essential information to the professional game industry, the UBM Tech Game Network offers market-defining content, and drives community through its award winning lineup of print, online, event and research products and services.  These include the Game Developers Conference®, the Webby Award-winning and network of sites, the Game Advertising Online ad network, the App Developers Conference™, the Game Developers Conference® Next, the Game Developers Conference™ Europe, the Game Developers Conference™ China, the Game Career Seminars and, the Independent Games Festival and Summit, and the Game Developers Choice Awards.  Visit:

About UBM Tech
UBM Tech, the global leader in technology media and professional information, enables people and organizations to harness the transformative power of technology.  Through its three core businessesmedia solutions, marketing services and paid contentUBM Tech produces the most respected and consumed brands and media applications in the technology market.  More than 14.5 million business and technology professionals (CIOs and IT managers, Web & Digital professionals, Software Developers, Government decision makers, and Telecom providers) actively engage in UBM Tech's communities and information resources monthly.  UBM Tech brands includes: global face-to-face events such as Interop, Web 2.0, Black Hat and Enterprise Connect; award-winning online resources such as InformationWeek, Light Reading, and Network Computing; and market-leading magazines InformationWeek, Wall Street & Technology, and Advanced Trading.  UBM Tech is a UBM plc company, a global provider of news distribution and specialist information services with a market capitalization of more than $2.5 billion.  Visit:


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