How To Make Money From Mobile Apps?

Ronak Patel
Aug 23, 2019 · 7 min read

If you’re new to the market, looking to enter it, or have a fresh idea for an app, one of your first questions is likely along the lines of “Can you make money from an app?”

If you launch your app using one of these monetization models, you have a higher chance of making more revenue than any other model.

Here’s what you need to know about each one:

How much money can an application earn?

One can earn much money from the mobile application, and few applications provide you money in billions of dollars through a specific type of apps only, and other applications make no money at all.

It is not easy to find out the estimation of a single application revenue generation through a wide range of applications and the disparity of money they produce.

Freemium for apps and games.

It is a gaming app offered free-of-charge to the user with limited features, contents. If you wanted to explore it in deep, then you can access a premium version through in-app content updates which will also lead you to subscribe for monthly content updates.

A free application with an in-app purchase removes the price point as a barrier for people for app downloading so that app developers can prove the value of their product.

It is one of the most popular monetization options for gaming applications and generates a good revenue with in-app purchases ranking with high percentage revenue in the Apple Store in US and Asian markets.

Highly Profitable Business

In terms of business, the mobile app development market is expanding and offers a proper scope for mobile app developers as well as companies to succeed beyond their expectation, through less initial investment.

Worldwide mobile app store revenues in 2015, 2016 and 2020 (in billion U.S. dollars) is shown in bellow stats.

App stores like Google android market, Apple App Store & many more are the one making billions of dollars in terms of profit because mobile applications are emerging as one of the easiest & best ways for marketing for selling products & services.

Mobile applications also help in social sharing of information, which indirectly encourages the users to develop and maintain brand loyalty.

Which platforms make the most money for app developers?

A proper application can increase your earning potential due through a different type of market penetration and platform popularity.

In the tech world, developers are in high demand and also compensated accordingly. Android apps are top-rated in market penetration. The average salary package of the android platform is high among developers, including a good amount of compensation.

As you can see iOS app is also not far behind because a mid-level iOS developers also make a huge amount in a year which ultimately proves that android and iOS apps have the highest number of earnings, with much of the total revenue being earned by top developers.

On the other hand, there are some niche platforms which can be a profit earner which are taken into consideration once the app has proven profitable on a popularly used platform.

Paid apps with added paid features.

Paid apps with added paid features is a hybrid monetization model, but many feel unfair for pay to download an application & then pay again to use more features. Such as App like FaceApp with this type of strategy in the top applications.

How much do subscription apps make?

With over 50 million registered users, Match Group’s Tinder is a great example of an app that is a tidy money earner due to in-app purchases.

The Tinder dating app is free to download but makes money by charging users for bonus features like unlimited swipes, which give users endless opportunities to match.

Tinder’s “Passport” add-on allows users to match with users in other locations, while “Boost” allows users to bump their profile to the top of the pile of users in their area. In Q1 of 2018, Match Group reported generating over $407.4 million in revenue. Tinder charges $9.99 a month for a Plus subscription and $14.99 for a Tinder Gold upgrade. This approach has made Tinder one of the highest-grossing apps worldwide.

Bumble is a close competitor with 50 million users and an impressive growth rate of 135%. Unlike Tinder, Bumble allows only women to initiate a conversation on the app and has also grown to include sister apps for networking and finding friends.

The app was estimated to make $172 per minute in 2018 thanks to its monthly $9.99 subscription option and premium features like Bumble Boost and Super Swipe.

The Secret Formula of Mobile App Success

How many times you have been downloaded a particular application in your mobile device?. There are several users and popular applications which get downloaded more than once, but few among them are capable of generating the kind of revenue that the most prominent app players did.

Let’s take an example of Angry Birds, at initial Phase Rovio had released a free version of the app for the Android App market. In the free version, it will also show you the advertising bar, and that’s where the actual revenue came from.

Because of that advertising bar formula still today the company manages to earn much more from these adverts instead of actual sales of the applications.

Angry Birds is now much more than a mere mobile app — it is now a brand name, which boasts of users from all over the world. The success of an application depends on the number of people using it, as also the amount of time they spend on it.

Free apps with advertising.

There are multiple options in the application that require the user to pay for the use of add on features. That’s why the few monetization models have excluded from its research is a free app with advertising.

There are several applications which are using this model of monetization. When a large number of users download and use your apps daily, then only you can easily make money from your application.

Using Mobile Social Sharing to Advantage

In today’s tech trending world with an add-on of social media, developing a mobile application is a great way for succeeding in the app market.

Social media encourages the user to share the information within their contacts. Social platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram are the finest example, which is a rage among the current generation of the users.

As per developers point of view, social applications may not rake in massive returns, but it can be beneficial after merging with the in-app purchasing so that developers can easily attract much more revenue from their applications.

A mobile social gaming app will also result in benefit for the developers if they offer an ad-free version of the game to the users on a basic nominal fee.

There are games which makes money by encouraging users to purchase virtual cash for small sums of money. It is one of the attractive and effective technique which also requires a lot of time and efforts from app developers side.

There are more options for your apps instead of mobile devices

If it makes sense on the platform, it is worth keeping Smart TVs and home devices in mind when designing your app. Expansion of platform offerings not only increases exposure for your app but also opens it to new revenue streams.

Nowadays, applications have multiple platforms to integrate with such as smart TVs which are appropriate for the medium & already have a huge number of users using Netflix and Hulu.

There are also AI-based smart speakers like Alexa and Google Home available in the application market.

One-time paid apps.

In one time paid applications users to pay just once to download the app and other add-on updates, features are expected to be free. So how do you determine whether your app should be a paid one? Most paid apps offer the core value in the first download, followed by minor additions or design and usability enhancements. Most utility apps fall into this category.

For launching a paid application, your app should be compelling enough for users to pay for download even without looking for a demo and there will be no repeat revenue from your existing customers that means for the continuous revenue stream. You require new customers each time.

Partnering with Mobile Brands and Carriers

Nowadays, this is a good opportunity for app developers to showcase their work and get noticed in the app market. Most of the app developers and companies are now partnering with mobile brands and carriers to launch their applications with them.

You can only estimate your success & failure rate because the market is something where you don’t have any control so it can be a win-win situation if it works as you intended.

App developers can only enjoy a fraction of revenue because they have a pass on a large percentage of the profits to the mobile device brand. Each brand holds a stipulation regarding the look and feel of the application, which can easily affect the developer’s original creativity.

With so many monetization methods being mentioned, it becomes quite intimidating as to which finds suitability for your app. I hope that the above article helps you to understand how to make money from apps.

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