So you’ve decided to develop an app. After the name and logo have been picked out, after beta testing has been completed, you’re ready to submit your app to the App Stores. You now realize you need to figure out how to monetize your app. Will your app payment strategy be free, freemium, or subscriptions? Here are a few strategies you may want to consider.
- In-App Advertising
This pricing strategy allows mobile applications to be free for users, but sell advertising space to companies in order to make money. This is the most popular model today. It’s an easy way to make money if you have a lot of downloads that you can market to companies wishing to advertise to your consumer base.
This is another common strategy for mobile games. The primary functions of the app are free, but allow users to purchase virtual products or services to enhance their mobile experience. In games, you can usually purchase more coins or unlock levels with an in-app purchase. This is also the method that stores use; their apps are free, but they allow you to order products via their app in lieu of going to the store or purchasing on the website.
This is commonly seen with magazine and newspaper apps. The app itself may be free to download, but you will have to purchase a subscription to actually read the articles. Usually these apps will give some content for free to lure you in, but some features will need to be unlocked with a paid subscription. This is a great way to consistently make money on a monthly or yearly basis. It’s important to note that you can only use a subscription if your app is a periodical, business, or media app.
- Paid Apps
Some mobile applications use the simple method of having consumers pay upfront to download an app; these apps have everything unlocked and included after the purchase has been made. This strategy takes a bit of marketing because you will have to convince users that your app is worth the cost upfront before they can experience your app, unlike the other payment strategies which allow users to pay as they go if they wish to unlock further content or products.
If you wish to offer your app for free, there is a newer advertising concept that could still bring in a good amount of money for you as the app creator. This method requires you to lock in sponsors that are willing to give rewards to users once they complete a certain action in the app. This allows you to take in a percentage of what your advertisers are paying, while the consumers get rewarded for engaging with your app. For example, RunKeeper motivates users to track their running. You earn rewards the more you run, so it keeps you motivated to use the app.