Competitive mobile app markets, both the App Store and Google Play, are full of various sorts of apps each of which was created with the idea of making money. Still, the large portion of applications available is free to download, and in most cases, free to use. So the arising question is how these free applications can offer businesses an opportunity to profit.
Having a decade-long experience of developing mobile apps for clients, including those most widely downloaded and used, free ones, Emerline highlights the major ways of how free apps can bring money to your business.
The ad monetization model based on the subscription plans is widely used by the media & entertainment industry, which takes advantage of it for audio and video streaming mobile apps, as well as for news apps.
The idea behind this model is the following: a user downloads an app for free with the opportunity to have unlimited access to all of its content for a certain period of time (the trial period). After the trial period ends, a user has two options: to choose some of the offered payment plans (weekly, monthly, yearly) or look for the same services within the other app.
One of the most popular and simplest ways in which a mobile app can be monetized is advertising done via third-party networks. All the business standing behind the app needs to do is to display commercials within the app or opt for affiliate marketing.
Your app can display these ads all the time or there’s also an option of running ad campaigns within a specific period of time.
Also, there are several options for paid advertising a business can consider. These are:
- Monetization per impression;
- Monetization per click on the add;
- Monetization at the time of app installation.
In 2020, with the rise of coronavirus and nearly global lockdown, the mobile app spending reached $240 billion.
The third option, a merchandising one, can bring profits to brands that have a loyal and stable audience. This could be some event app, a gaming business, etc.
The idea of such a monetization model is simple: a business develops some merchandised products (T-shirts, cups, suitcases, etc.) and offers them to their customers.
Today, with the availability of Amazon’s service known as Merch, it’s possible to outsource both payment and delivery services to Amazon, which is beneficial for both sides.
In-app purchases are known to generate the highest revenue. Selling virtual goods, these apps do not irritate users with any ads and generally feel like a safe and comfortable space. It is so, because prices on virtual items offered are not high and, using an app with such a monetization model, a user does not face all or nothing problems. It means that the most frequent case is when the use of the app is completely free but can be in some way enhanced at a reasonable cost.
The best example of such apps are games, including such popular ones as Angry Birds and Clash of Clans.
The less common but still quite beneficial monetization model is represented by the sponsorship. The idea behind this strategy is the creation of a niche app for a specific audience that is launched on behalf of another company.
There are cases when some apps can mix a couple of the listed monetization models. And for sure, there are far more ways in which you can profit from a launch of a free app.
If you have an idea of entering a mobile market and want to know which strategy will work for your business in the best way, you can always consult with specialists that will show you paths in which you can do so. For example, the Emerline software development company offers free consultations that allow creating a picture of the solution you can receive as the result of cooperation and determine its monetization potential.