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Hey Web Developer: When Did YOU Last See A $150 CPM?

Apple iAds are proving to be hugely lucrative for one iPhone app developer. Just another anecdotal proof point for all of the hockey-stick projections for the growth in the mobile app market.

Here's another of those irresistible Get-Rich-Quick stories: iPhone developer writes a simple free app (turns the iPhone 4 into a flashlight - what's with those flashlight apps?) and reaps $1,400 from Apple iAds on his first day.

What's even more amazing is how he did it: from just delivering 9,300 of those rich-media iAds. That gave the developer, a Jason Ting from San Diego, an effective CPM (Revenue per thousand ads delivered) rate of nearly $150.

By comparison, the average CPM for ads on U.S.-based web sites, both big and small, is about $2.50, or 1/60th of what Ting was earning. (Yes, you calculated that right: you need 100 page views to garner just a quarter).

I know, this is just one day in the life of one mobile developer.

And yes, I know, to either tout or damn this story is to risk getting caught up in the propaganda war between the iPhone and Android camps as they go to war for the hearts and minds of developers.

The larger point is one I talk about all the time here but it's worth repeating, for the benefit of enterprise and mainstream Web developers: the mobile Web and mobile apps could be a huge Gold Mine for you, too.

Several weeks ago, I wrote about an iPhone app developer who recently raised his rate as a consulting programmer to $1,000 an hour.

iAds and Google's equivalent platform mean that you don't need to create apps using a freemium model (separate free + pricey premium versions), that rich mobile ads with rich cuts (60% of gross revenue, promises Apple) can be a legitimate revenue model.

Here are some projections:

research2guidance predicts mobile apps will be a $15.7 billion business by 2014.

Juniper Research predicts mobile app revenues will hit $25 billion by 2014.

Markets & Markets predicts $24.4 billion by 2015.

Think it's all smaller research firms that are going bold with their predictions? Nope. Gartner, aka The Borg, actually has  the most ambitious prediction: $29.5 billion by 2014.

Know any mobile developers hitting it rich? Or is it still a media-generated mirage?


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