5 mobile app monetization strategies

5 min


How to monetize mobile apps? Be ready to reply the query as quickly as doable. Development can`t begin with out this information, because it`s very important that your mannequin merges with the person expertise (UX) seamlessly. Which, in flip, helps retain customers and lay the muse for long-term success.

We created this publish to shed some mild onto the core B2C mobile app monetization strategies (examine B2B in an article to comply with).

Monetization strategies and revenues

Currently there are two strategies that present actually compelling outcomes: freemium and in-app promoting.

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But, in fact, to make a prudent choice, you’ll have to know extra. Let’s dive into it.

Paid apps

The most blatant approach to monetize mobile apps is to cost for every obtain. But it’s not probably the most environment friendly. However, you may make it work for those who set a value throughout the present value limits.

You`ll need to go the additional mile to elucidate: in what methods is your app superior to the prevailing free choices. Not solely your answer, however your retailer listings should be extremely good (you`ll discover a few helpful ideas here).


  • Guaranteed income per every obtain.
  • You’re capable of present a flawless UX (if the obtain charge is the one income).
  • You can deal with making a supreme and progressive product.
  • You have clear, non-segmented income movement. (It`s simpler to watch and analyse outcomes).


  • It’s tougher to influence individuals to obtain your app. They will battle with paying for an app they haven’t even tried.
  • All the latest stats present that this mannequin brings far much less income than freemium or in-app promoting.
  • You have to offer the app shops a 30% lower.
  • Most of the paid apps don’t get extra that 500 downloads per day.
  • You want an superior advertising workforce. (OK, everybody does. But with paid apps it’s much more vital.)

Works for:

nicely marketed merchandise that supply distinctive content material, options, companies and top-notch UX.

Successful examples:

Facetune, 7 Minute Workout Challenge, Ultimate Guitar Tabs & Chords, Nova Launcher Prime.

Note*: You can mix the pay-per-download technique with any of the fashions listed under. However, it’s a slippery slope. Paid apps with in-app purchases (Paidmium) not often do nicely (it solely works for video games and apps like Minecraft which have pre-existing fan bases). And utilizing adverts is a horrible concept, as a result of when individuals pay for apps – they count on them to be ad-free.

Free apps

The excellent news is – it`s not onerous to promote one thing that`s free. But making mobile applications isn`t low-cost. And correct advertising prices an arm and a leg, as nicely. Naturally, you need a tangible ROI. Don`t fear, there are methods of creating good cash on free apps. How? Let`s determine it out.

  1. In-app promoting
  2. It’s a go-to monetization channel for a lot of house owners. Firstly, you entice customers. Secondly, acquire useful knowledge about them. And lastly, promote advert placements. You can use mobile advertising networks to implement the adverts correctly, monitor effectivity and supply extra choices to advertisers.


  • No have to ask for cash from customers.
  • It’s simpler to type a stable person base and collect useful knowledge. (Because the app is free!)
  • This mannequin reveals steady progress of effectivity.
  • This mannequin will be simply mixed with another. Or changed, as an example: simply provide to take away the adverts for an affordable charge (Freemium).


  • Done unsuitable, it could actually considerably spoil the UX and make individuals go away. Be cautious!
  • You have to average the advert amount and high quality (= additional work).
  • You’ll want common monitoring and effectivity management to make sure enough mobile app promoting income.
  • Won’t work for apps meant for fast use (interruptions will get in the best way).

Works for:

the vast majority of apps. But provided that you possibly can acquire a big person base and implement well-targeted adverts.

Successful examples:

  • In-app purchases (Freemium)
  • A mannequin at present main in income in each main markets (AppRetailer and Google Play). This technique implies that customers get fundamental performance without spending a dime, however need to pay for:

    • Full set of options (freemium)
    • Premium content material and Virtual items (like in-app forex)
    • Digital companies
    • Subscriptions.

    You can`t use it for real-life items or companies (for extra info, learn Apple`s and Google`s directions).

    It’s environment friendly as a result of you possibly can have interaction individuals first, and solely then give them a proposal to purchase one thing. One other thing: you need to be upfront and point out that your product isn’t fully free.


    • Decent income and low dangers.
    • Can be simply mixed with different monetisation strategies.
    • You`re promoting to somebody who already likes your app.
    • Can, truly, assist to boost engagement.
    • It`s simply adaptable (some ways of implementation). Just choose an possibility that simply blends in along with your product.
    • According to statistics, brings extra income than another mannequin.


    • Not each person pays.
    • It might take longer to start out incomes.
    • Microtransactions have been massively criticised. To cope with points like adverse suggestions you’ll want very good customer support.
    • You have to offer the app shops a 30% lower.
    • You want to search out the fitting steadiness between free and paid stuff. Give an excessive amount of – there’s no motivation to buy. Give too little – customers abandon the app, leaving you with no penny of their cash.

    Works for:

    video games and feature-rich purposes. The key’s to make the mannequin slot in harmoniously along with your app’s function and performance.

    Successfully utilized in:

    Evernote, Sing! by Smule, LINE, VSCO.

  • Partnerships/Incentivised Advertising
  • It’s a comparatively new mannequin that’s on the rise now. Find your self companions, who’ll give customers rewards for finishing particular actions in your app. It can deliver you vital income. You will receives a commission for the promoting rewards and provides for every person that turns into your companion’s buyer.


    • These are adverts 2.0: they supply advantages to your customers, extra advert area – for advertisers, regular earnings – for you.
    • Choose a companion as soon as and make sure that the promoted merchandise are related. (Less moderation in comparison with conventional adverts.)
    • You can simply monitor outcomes and conversions.


    • Requires cautious implementation to adjust to the app retailer insurance policies. For occasion, it’s higher to not provide customers to obtain one other app, however watch a promo video.
    • As it hasn’t been round for lengthy, it’s tougher to foresee outcomes.

    Works for:

    apps with massive person bases that current curiosity to dependable companions.

    Successfully utilized in:

    RunKeeper, Sing! by Smule.

  • m-Commerce
  • This works for corporations that promote bodily items or present companies in the true world. When you create a mobile app, it primarily turns into one in all your gross sales channels. Such merchandise are the best to monetise, as they provide one thing tangible. All-in-all, your core enterprise is what makes cash. But, for those who play your playing cards proper, you’ll considerably improve your income and get again each final penny spent on mobile improvement in a flash.


    • Allows you to chop operational prices (actual shops are costlier to run).
    • No have to share your earnings with the app shops.
    • You’ll be open for clients 24/7. Wherever they’re.
    • Endless world of latest potentialities: you possibly can diversify, provide new issues.
    • You get a improbable new advertising channel (for promotions, bulletins, loyalty applications, and so forth.).
    • Access to a broad viewers, new international locations and markets.


    • Properly executed, multi-faceted mCommerce options are fairly costly.
    • Payment strategies are so that you can determine (with the in-app purchases you’ll get an answer from the app shops).
    • You have to have a very dependable Technical Support and Customer Service.

    Works for:

    Start-ups and working corporations that promote bodily items or provide companies.

    Successfully utilized in:

    Amazon Shopping, AliExpress Shopping App, Postmates, Uber.

    Blended Models

    The most profitable apps don’t simply go for one mannequin, they combine, attempt, take a look at and analyse. Ultimately, your purpose is to search out the easiest way to make a product worthwhile. But as soon as once more, we’d wish to stress the significance of seamless integration of the monetisation technique along with your app function and performance.

    Can’t wait to start out creating your spectacular mobile app? Magora Systems would love that will help you flip your concept right into a profitable product. So, get in touch and let’s construct one thing ground-breaking collectively!

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