How to monetize apps auditory from 0 to 100+ years old. Practical advice for developers from developers

Cute characters from our app

Hello, we have been developing mobile applications for 7 years. We started from kids educational apps, then switched to productivity apps for parents. Our company exists and lives on the money our apps bring us. So for this long period, we tried different ways of apps monetization. Now we want to share our experience with you. Let’s divide users of the apps in groups and see how each group can be monetized.

Age: 0–4

At these age children play games under the supervision of their parents and use only apps and games that parents allowed. Children use the devices of their parents. Apps pass the selection of parents. The main buyer is the parent. Therefore, at this stage, it is very important to interest the parent in choosing exactly your app. They primarily pay attention to the educational value and security of the app (lack of advertising, no aggressive content). If the app meets parents expectations they are more likely to buy it.

The ideal method of monetization for this age will be the FREEMIUM model. App provides the basic functionality of the application for FREE. And you can unlock additional content by in-app-purchase (IAP).

No ads monetization! It wouldn’t work for this age. Parents will never choose the app for kids with a lot of ads inside.

For those parents who give the phone to small kids and get mess of random installed apps, calls, SMS and other things we developed a Kid’s Shell launcher

Age: 4–7

At this age, some kids may have their own devices. But most of them still use parents devices. Kids continue to play applications that parents have approved.

Parents are interested in educational applications. And they want kids to play something useful and interesting (not just shooters and runners). They want to see apps from which kids will know or learn something new.

But from the children’s point of view simple and easy apps quickly get them bored. At this age, kids are always interested in new content. They are like discoverers of a new world. They are ready to consume a lot of new information.

While parents control what kids are allowed to play they continue to invest in educational content. It is important from the developer’s side to establish friendly relations with parents. First of all, parents will choose those applications and those developers whose applications they used before. So from the developer’s side, you need to be prepared to provide content for different ages of kids.

It is really important to make the process of acquiring new content more simple for parents. For example, the release of a new tale or magazine every week by subscription. In this case, the child will know that in this application the content is constantly updated, and expect it. Or just bought a big bundle of content (also could be offered as a big discount) at one purchase. So the parents don’t need to do unnecessary actions, purchase something separately each time. Once paid — a lot of content.

So ads monetization still not working for such apps. SUBSCRIPTIONS and BIG BUNDLES SALES are preferable.

Age: 7–10

At this age children go to school. Most of them will have their own gadget. Children themselves know how to use a mobile device. They can install their own applications and choose what to play. They are interested to play games and apps that their friends play. Now they are more interested in the games.

But hey are not ready to pay for the game: they do not have such opportunity. They haven’t got their own card and parents usually do not allow them to spend money on mobile games. But from the other side, they have their own device and know what to do with it. They are ready to earn bonuses and points in the games and apps by watching advertisements.

Parents are ready to continue to invest in educational apps and educational content. But now it becomes more in recommendation way.

A conflict of interests appear:

  • children prefer to play games and get more entertaining content, but parents don’t want to pay for it;
  • parents are willing to pay for educational content (books, magazines), but children may not be interested in it.

So for this age, the monetization option can be ads in the apps. But parents are still ready to pay for the subscription of those applications that they approved so that children can continue to receive interesting educational content.

Age: 11–16

They have their own device. Now it ’s top devices, not simple smartphones.

They have pocket money. This audience is becoming more interested in games and social apps for communication. Teens are ready to share their results online with friends. Now they can spend their money on the games.

It has become harder for parents to control what content kids play and what apps use. Now kids choose for what to pay, and for what — not.

Teens are ready to watch ads to get achievements and earn bonuses in the apps, but they are also willing to pay now for content and for acceleration bonuses.

Age: 16–22

Students. A new stage of life — new acquaintances, independence. Now they’re not so willing to spend their pocket money on the apps and games.

Money is needed for entertainment and parties. Students love freebies and competitions. Ready to consume mobile content with ads, awards. They love the ability to earn extra bonuses in the app or game for free. If the application or game makes a big impression on them they may pay for it.

Age: 22+ and more

Former students who have successfully graduated and got a job. They get paid for their job. This audience is willing to pay for entertainment and games. They are ready to consume really good paid content. They understand why they do that. And they have the opportunity to do that.

Age: 25+ and more

They are not kids now, they are parents. And now they are ready to pay for educational and entertaining content for their kids. The circle closes :)


We have always been against advertisements in applications for kids. But after we divided users into different age categories, we now understand that for some age categories this may be the only way to monetize certain types of applications. Yes, you need to meet the regulations from mobile stores and laws to keep your app comply with the requirements.

This article is not a recipe for direct action. These are arguments based on market analysis, applications analysis and our observations. Perhaps in a year, two or a month everything will change, and the methods described in this article will not work.

So you should continue to create new great games and apps and find your own ways of apps monetization.

PS: if you are looking for kids apps and games for age 0 to 8 with good content and right ways of monetizations (less ads - more paid content) try apps from Whisper Arts