The Complete Guide To Monetizing Your App

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8 June 2015
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Apps are big business in the digital age. Some of the biggest gaming apps are making over $1 million every single day (Clash of Clans). Others are sparking billion dollar valuations (Snapchat) and selling to corporate giants for ludicrous sums. The app market is one of the newest and most lucrative out there. However, for every Snapchat, there are ten apps that are riddled with debt. For every Clash of Clans, there are ten games that can’t muster a single download. So, how exactly do you turn your app into a money-spinner? The answer is monetization. But it takes many forms. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular.

Charge up front

The most obvious monetization strategy is charging for the app up front. You can choose to set your app price at whatever level you’re comfortable with. The average price is anywhere between $0.99 and $5. Unfortunately, it’s very difficult to convince someone to part with their money, especially if they haven’t heard of you. It’s often best to build up a reputation with a free app. You can start charging when there is demand for it.


One method that has proved fruitful is offering a free version as an introductory teaser. Customers get access to a basic version of your app, with most of the fundamental services. The trick is converting them to a subscription or paid upgrade. The beauty of this system is that it’s easy to get people in the door. Most users are happy to try a free version. Make it irresistible so that visitors want more. Then offer them a paid upgrade.

In-app purchases

The most profitable apps on the planet use this device. The likes of Candy Crush and Clash of Clans are the champions here, making millions every day. The initial game is free, which is a great way to get people hooked and excited about the game. However, users can buy upgrades to progress faster. They can buy new lives to keep the game going and cut corners. It’s a fantastic way to make sure users keep playing. It also works great for businesses with an ecommerce site. Your app should be free, but purchases all contribute to your total revenue.

Sponsorship and advertising

Advertising still pays the bills for many online companies. You can extend this to app advertising with plenty of room for small banners and even pop-ups. It’s crucial that you don’t let this affect the gameplay or usability of the app. Getting the right balance of non-intrusive advertising is tricky. An iPhone App Developer can help you integrate this seamlessly here. Sponsored content is another route currently explored by some of the biggest news companies in the world. It’s a non-invasive form of advertising that appears alongside your content. It’s great for news or magazine apps.

Most modern apps are opting for a combination of the above. Always try to form a monetization plan before you build the app, so your intentions are clear. Just remember to avoid cluttering the app and don’t spoil the usability.
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