How to Make Money from your App
Updated: Dec 4, 2020
You may not have made the decision to get an app developed for the purpose of making direct additional income, rather as a way to increase accessibility, make using your digital platform more seamless, or elevate your business appearance. Whatever your reason for owning an app, you can capitalize on it, and make it one of your company's key assets, and there has never been a better time to make an app. In this Proteams blog post you will find at least one way that you can turn your app into an asset without hindering the appearance of your app or affecting the customer experience.
In-App purchases or the 'freemium' model is highly favored by users as it increases accessibility without losing out on potential earnings; the app owner provides both an option for a free version of the app, but use in-app purchases of additional individual features, or an entire premium version, is also offered. This option leaves you open to develop on your MVP (check out our Essential App Development Terms for Business Owners blog post to learn more key terms like this), depending on the response to your MVP, you may choose to add additional paid features that will gain attention from current and new users.
As shown in the graph, gaming apps are known to make a lot more from this method, but with innovation and increasing demand for advancing digital capabilities creating revenue from applications will be more viable through this method.
source: Sensor Tower
Subscription methods are much more about the quality content. that you have to offer and is for app owners working well beyond their MVP. It is common to use a method similar to the previous but instead of a one-time payment for additional features, they can be accessed via a subscription service, this is common with language-learning apps or others that can offer unlimited content per day rather than limited viewing.
Alternatively, you could choose a subscription service to access the app at all, commonly apps that utilize this method will allow users a '30-day free trial' period or a similar offering to show the user the benefit of the app and its potential. This method is common with news apps such as Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, and the New York Times, who all have a huge following.
The drawback however of subscription services is that you need to ensure you are providing consistent and quality content for users to maintain interest, this will mean having in-depth content strategies and up-to-date materials so you are able to effectively keep-up with competitors.
In-app advertisement is currently the most popular way to earn from your app, with 7 out of ten apps featuring some form of advertisement, seeing ads has become a normal part of the user experience. Choosing which type of ad could make or break the balance between your potential earnings and a successful application.
These ads are already integrated into the app, generally, they match the function of what the application is intending to do, much like a 'complimentary good' as described in economics. This type of ad is more favored when it comes to in-app advertisement because it is used not to hinder or disrupt the customer experience but as a helpful and complementary addition. These ads will appear as 'sponsored content' but will fit in seamlessly with the style and theme of the application.
Interstitial ads are fullscreen displayed ads that pop up at a certain point in the use of the application or webpage, usually when the page or app is first opened. an example of this is when you use a company's free WIFI and a full-page advertisement pops up before you are connected. In an app context, there is usually a small 'x' to exit the add and anywhere else on the screen will direct you to the advertisers' site. the downside of these ads is that they can be very unpleasant, disrupting, and irritating for the users if it is related content or something they have no interest in, but because of the prominence of the ad the app owner is likely to be well-imbursed for it.
Banner ads can be placed at the top or bottom of the screen, and are a less intrusive and disruptive method of advertising for the user, so they are unlikely to click out of or uninstall it completely as a result. The downside, however, is that banner ads are known to have a rather poor CTR (click-through rate) so are not favored or popular among advertisers.
4. In-Stream Video
Video ads are often used where natural breaks occur in the usage of the application, for example; in page transitions or at the end of a game round. Generally, the ad lasts 10-30 seconds and there is usually a less obvious option to exit the video, depending on its relevancy to the platform in which it is being advertised, these ads can be very successful and due to the length of time and prominence, it is commonly a profitable method of advertising for the app owner. Alternatively, the app owner may choose to use 'rewarded video ads', where the user can choose to watch the video and in return that are rewarded with some form of in-app currency or alternate offering.
5. Incentivized Advertising
Incentivized advertising is a more uncommon method whereby the user chooses to complete certain engagements such as filling out questionnaires or sharing content or similar for in-app currency or form of incentive. This form of ad can potentially raise user loyalty but they need to be placed carefully and integrate well with the apps design and existing features.
source: AdColony Via Forbes
Sponsorship in many cases can be a very mutually beneficial monetization method, usually, sponsorships will be formed before the app is launched so it can be edited to the sponsors' preferences, this may include a certain color palette or design technique that will help make their brand name more visible. This method is more uncommon than others mentioned as it would involve the app owner seeking out a sponsor and striking a deal, which may involve profit-sharing or a sponsorship fee.
App Monetization Methods Used, source: App Annie
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