Making sound monetization strategies for your app

Various mediums for app monetization

Making an app seems like a pretty straightforward process with lucrative results. Got an idea? Get few coders onboard? Make the app. The app makes money. Everyone is paid and happy. But most app developers would cross mountains of code if the actual process was actually that simple somewhere.

The situation isn’t that bad when it comes to developing the app. It’s a struggle but with some smart and hard work, developers wade through this phase. The real challenge begins when it comes down to making the app a profitable venture.

51% of mobile apps generate less than $500 in monthly revenue and only 4% of mobile apps generate $500k + monthly. Reason = Competition

These statistics aren’t meant to discourage but an advice to tread through monetization cautiously, opting for options that don’t hinder the user experience. There are many ways to earn through apps and every route has its set of pros and cons. So, it’s advisable to first get acquainted with the monetization options available and choose options that suit you best.

Pay Per Download

A pretty straightforward process, users pay a one-time fee to download the app. A straight route can’t always claim to be the lucrative one. It’s difficult to convince users to pay for the app without first having tried it out, especially when there are free substitutes for the same service in the market. To earn that kind of trust, apps would need to be backed by a number of factors such as superb app listing, great press, excellent reviews, and a marketing plan that communicates why their app is the best there is around.


Offer free downloads of the app but keep away some of its premium features as paid options. By doing so, you shall get the ‘free app’ audience on board and can lure them to buy the premium features of the app. Also, this method gives the users the choice to try out the app before they have to pay.

But to maintain the right balance between offering too many or too less free features can prove to be a dicey call to make.


Similar to the freemium model, subscription focuses on access, but to content rather than features. Employed by many online publishing and streaming services, the model allows users to access a limited amount of content before being prompt to subscribe for access to more content. This type of monetization proves advantageous for developers as it helps generate recurring revenue. But, just like the freemium model, it can be difficult to determine the content limit before the user is prompted to subscribe.

In-app purchases

Most apps tend to be free to gather a wider audience. But that doesn’t stop them from exploring revenue options within the app. especially popular among gaming apps, it gives user option to buy a fraction of a certain privilege within the app that they would want to keep buying regularly. For example, extra lives, in-game currency etc.

That way, In-app purchases help you generate lots of revenue off of your otherwise free app and provide an opportunity for a more involved engagement between your product and audience.

In-app advertising

In-app advertising is the go-to monetization method for most developers.

People today spend a lot of time on their smartphones. That’s usually over 90 minutes every day. Most users are unwilling to pay for apps. Therefore, ads can pave a win-win situation for both users and developers. There are a number of ways to go about in-app advertising such as Banner ads, Notification ads etc. Your medium of advertisement would be key in holding up your audience’s attention. But there’s another aspect that’s more important in advertising – engaging quality. If your ad picks up the right tone of engagement, it can hold their attention. And if it doesn’t, they might stop the ad or even quit the app altogether out of sheer frustration.


A tie-up with another brand can act as a major boost to your monetization process. The usual catch is that the partnering brand should have a similar audience base. Collaborations can go a long way when individual resources work together towards providing an improved and integrated user experience.

Consider this, when a user comes across an ad featuring your brand in your partner app, a user will likely click on it if it has an enticing appeal to it.

Forming partnerships can be extremely beneficial to strengthen your brand outreach.

Studying App Data

Study the robust analytics you collect from your app and search for specific behaviour patterns of the users in relation to your app. This data would be critical in understanding many key points such as which sections of your app gain the most attention, what are the problem areas in your app etc.

The App market is going to be on the rise for a long time. And so shall be the competition. So build an app that shall interest users and select a revenue model that will generate the right revenue for your organisation. But keep in mind, monetization cannot be an afterthought. It should be integrated into your business plan well before the launch of your app. Venturing into a product aimlessly can prove detrimental to your commercial interests in the long run.

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