Between September 2018 and 2019, the average CPI for iOS apps was at $3.60, average costs per app event ranged from over $7 per registration to about $80 for an in-app purchase - according to Statista. Average obviously means that there is a significant amount of advertisers paying much more to acquire mobile users.
Many subscription-based apps charge about $35 per year for Premium. Let's say 5% of their users convert to Premium. That's $35*0.05=1.75. After the Apple tax of 30%, this is a (1-year) LTV of $1.23. As far as I know, paid UA still positively affects the App Store ranking (e. g. more app ratings), but the impact is way smaller than it was in the past.
How do app developers even have a chance to scale user acquisition at a profit? It has to be almost impossible by default - or what am I missing here? Thank you.