2023 State of the API Report

Postman State Of The API Report Postmanauts researching ontop of graphs. Illustration.

SOTA hex

APIs and monetization

We asked for the first time, “Do you view your APIs as products?” Almost 60% of respondents said yes, while 26% said no. A further 15% weren't sure.

Companies with a large developer headcount were the likeliest to view their APIs as products, with 68% answering yes. Among industries, people working in financial services were the most likely to consider APIs products.

Yes: 59%
No: 26%
Not sure: 15%

When asked whether their APIs generate revenue, 65% of respondents said yes. Of those answering in the affirmative, 43% said their APIs generate more than a quarter of the business's total revenue.

For a handful of companies, APIs generated more than 75% of total revenue. These companies were almost twice as likely to be in financial services as other sectors.

The 35% of respondents whose APIs generated no revenue tended to work at smaller organizations. As company size grew (as measured by developer headcount), it was increasingly likely that respondents would say their APIs produced revenue.

Less than 10% of total revenue: 28%
10% to 25% of total revenue: 29%
26% to 50% of total revenue: 22%
51% to 75% of total revenue: 12%
More than 75% of total revenue: 9%

Due to rounding, percentages may not add up to 100%.

We asked survey-takers how consumers discovered their public APIs. The most common answer was through their website, followed by a developer portal.

When we filtered answers by company size, we found the answer varied. Small companies relied primarily on websites. But as the company size grew beyond 500 developers, developer portals became the top source of API discovery.

What was the third most popular answer? “Our APIs are hard to discover.” This was chosen by 20% of all respondents. This number highlights the importance of focusing on the developer experience and making it easy for consumers to discover one's APIs, whether through a search engine, company website, or developer portal.

Company website: 55%
Developer portal: 46%
Our APIs are hard to discover: 20%
Postman public workspace: 14%
Search engine: 14%

Multiple choices allowed.

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