There’s a lot of money in apps. Billions of dollars. But most of this money is earned by certain kinds of apps, and many apps make no money at all. The top-grossing apps in the world may not be the ones you suspect. If you want to 𝗙𝗿𝗲𝗲 𝗔𝗽𝗽𝘀 𝗠𝗼𝗻𝗲𝘁𝗶𝘇𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 earnings, an app development company will tell you what you should, and shouldn’t do. In the meantime, this article will explain the ins and outs of how free apps make money and will discuss 𝗙𝗿𝗲𝗲 𝗔𝗽𝗽𝘀 𝗠𝗼𝗻𝗲𝘁𝗶𝘇𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 strategies and tools through which your app can become an earner.
If you’re new to the market, looking to enter it, or just have a cool idea for an app, one of your first questions is likely to be profit-related. Building apps is a difficult task and you will want to be rewarded for all of your hard work. The following overview of mobile app earning potential should give you a clearer picture of how much you can make off your app.
Our agency, 𝐀𝐩𝐩𝐢𝐧𝐠𝐢𝐧𝐞, has experts that can help you determine how to earn money from your app, and how much it can potentially make.
First, we are going to discuss a few Key app monetization strategies.
Using ads to monetize the app is quite simple, all required is to display commercial inside your mobile apps and get paid from the ad networks. Mobile advertising is a form of advertising via mobile(wireless) phones or other mobile devices. It is a subset of mobile marketing. It is estimated that mobile app-installed ads accounted for 30% of all mobile advertising revenue in 2014, and will top $4.6bn in 2016, and over $6.8bn by the end of 2019. Mobile advertising remains the most profitable app revenue model. 7 out of 10 app providers used it in 2018.
In-app purchases provide an ability to sell a variety of virtual items directly from your app — including extra bonuses, premium content, game currency, and goods or unlock game levels.
The strategy falls into categories:
Sponsorship placement within the application can be a 𝗙𝗿𝗲𝗲 𝗔𝗽𝗽𝘀 𝗠𝗼𝗻𝗲𝘁𝗶𝘇𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 model if the provider builds the right niche app for tailored users and launch it on behalf of another company. The main challenge is to find a funder with similar or the same target audience and white label an app or adapt its design to match the sponsor’s brand.
The main types of sponsorship deals:
The strategy is also lucrative for developers to generate and expand user audiences and promote an app, as most sponsors already have good website traffic and loyal customers.
For free apps with restricted content or features available for a limited time, the user can pay a subscription fee to get full access and unlock it. This revenue type is often used for cloud services, video and audio streaming, online newspapers, or magazines. The developer can provide users with a free trial period and charge the subscription fee for access without restrictions.
Google and Apple provide an ability to handle subscription transactions through their platforms, making it easier for developers to implement it. Apple takes 30% for the first year of any subscription, and then 15% after one year of paid service. Google introduces better terms, taking 15% of subscription revenue even during the first year.
The News app like The Guardian & The Economist has many online subscribers.
Even though Email Marketing is a comparatively old technique, it can be quite powerful when it comes to monetizing apps. This strategy works best when you kindly ask user emails during sign-in. And, as a result, get a possibility to consequently reach them with email notifications.
In the meantime, mobile applications offer a new opportunity to collect email addresses. This makes email marketing one of the most effective strategies on the web, which also has its pros and cons.
One of the comparatively new ways of making money through Amazon App Store is Amazon Underground. Although it does not require ads or in-app purchases, let’s see how it works. Being a relative newcomer in the word of the mobile apps, Underground offers its users to access an unlimited number of solutions that contain premium features for free. Instead, Amazon Underground pays application devs 2 cents per minute of use, per every single user.
Amazon Underground is an independent app store, with its mobile app that has to be used for getting access to the store. To use this innovative strategy, app publishers are not allowed to implement ad or in-app purchases inside their apps.
If you prefer to get users to enjoy your app for free rather than make them see your ads, some tools can help you improve UX and support the freemium model of app monetization. In case you have your app developed with no digital storefront integrated into the code, you’ll find these tools useful:
Android takes care of its developers and offers its solution to freemium called the Androids In-App Billing tool. Meanwhile, Apple also has its native system that offers users to purchase your in-app content or subscriptions. But shows it as a software download from the store. Well, yes, it takes 30% of the revenue but manages the transaction instead.
Another type of tool worth mentioning works with in-app video ads. Well, video ads may suit your app. It is a fact. Specifically, if they reflect an expected type of content. The following tools may easily help you monetize your free app:
Interactive combines innovative ad units with perfect reporting and analytics. This allows 𝗙𝗿𝗲𝗲 𝗔𝗽𝗽𝘀 𝗠𝗼𝗻𝗲𝘁𝗶𝘇𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 without actually sacrificing UX. At the same time, YuMe is also on the list. It uses PQI, a proprietary real-time inventory grading algorithm to bring campaigns the best inventory.
Meanwhile, Adcolony is there to use their Instant Play HD technology combined with buffer-free video playback, Vungle is the only one who features SDK suitable for iOS, Android, and Windows. At least they say so.
When it comes to in-app advertising tools the first thing you will face is finding an ad network. So: The first to mention is Google’s AdMob, which lets users use Google Analytics to better understand the audience, improve their advertisements, and gain new customers/consumers.
InMobi is a tool that helps you focus on creating better UX. It is more visually appealing than the majority of ad platforms. InMobi allows users to leave feedback about the ads, and, consequently, increase the value of targeting for the advertisers.
Facebook’s app advertising system offers to display its advertising inside of your app, making targeting more exact and conceivably better for revenue. Apple does also have its ad tool for apps, which integrates the desired ads into your app and one platform.
Among other popular and effective in-app advertising app monetization tools that work best for free apps are Amazon’s ad system (that still pays per impression), an automation tool with predictive analytics Tapjoy, Appsfire that tries to choose ads that blend best with the app’s design, StartApp (that prioritizes ads and increases click-through rates), etc.
Because game apps are one of the most popular app categories these days, some ads systems are keen specifically for them. So, the list of in-app advertising for game applications starts with Unity, as it’s completely focused on games and targets ads only for gamers. In a word, the tool allows monetizing apps entire player base with ease.
Chartboost is the biggest mobile games-only ad network, that offers free cross-sales and a Direct Deals Marketplace making game app monetization and user acquisition easy and successful.
There are lots of effective ways in which to monetize free apps, however, it’ll take some coming up with and comprehensive promoting strategy. Advertising continues to beholding the leading position as an app monetization technique, with 70% of all apps on the market.