Marketing

Monetizing an App

Everyone has at some point a great idea for a business venture, a video game or a movie. However, having an idea is one thing and successfully creating a product is a whole another matter. The problem lies in the fact that business startups, video game development and book writing demand massive amounts of effort and thus a functioning and cohesive team of people. Nevertheless, there is one thing you can do alone - write your own mobile app.

Today, mobile apps offer an excellent opportunity to create your own design, test it through several iterations and develop it in its entirety from the ground up without having to rely on fickle teammates. However, even if you do manage successful creating a product there is the question of monetizing it. Though it is nice to feel satisfaction because you’ve created something noteworthy, it would be even nicer to make your app bringing money to your pocket. So, how does one monetize an app?

Before we get into the details, you should understad that an overwhelming majority of apps fails miserably when it comes to generating any revenue whatsoever. You should be prepared for failure and be ready to admit defeat by dropping one app and starting another without taking it personally. In fact, if you can have this mindset, you’re already on the right road to success, since the most successful businessmen in the world failed repeatedly before finally achieving success.

Business models

To monetize an app, you will have to answer the following questions:

  • What problem does your app solve and how?
  • Is your solution unique and can the competition just copy it?
  • What methods does your competition use to monetize its apps?

Answers to these questions will help you estimate the true value of your app in the market. Note that this value is current, which means that new technologies, market shifts or competition restructuring can dramatically change the value of your app practically overnight, so be prepared to reevaluate your app constantly.

Ads, ads everywhere

The easiest route is to have an app that is free but generates revenue through showing ads to the users. By purchasing the app, users can use the ad-free version of the app, which is an additional incentive. This monetization category contains two subtypes: banner and pop-up. Note that users generally find ads grating and splattering obnoxious banners and pop-ups can cause them to delete your app promptly.

Freemium

These are generally games with timed content. In other words, a player may only do one action every once in a while unless he buys gems/crystals/mana that will allow this time restriction to be bypassed. These can be the most lucrative monetization models around but require extensive knowledge of game design.

One-time fee

Once paid, the user may use the app indefinitely. Using proper marketing methods with this monetization model will allow you to extract enormous profits from the user base.

Subscriptions

The user of your app has to pay a fee that will allow him to use it for a week or a month. The problem with this monetization model is acquiring a large enough audience that will make the app profitable.

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Successful mobile games in Asia earn $100K-$500K/month.

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