Different Types of App Monetization: How to Choose the Right Way to Make Money

A lot of app developers don’t think much about their monetization models. This is completely logical, given the fact that they have a lot on their mind. App development serious business and it requires a lot of know-how and hard work as it’s a very competitive industry.

Still, monetization is very important and it needs to be considered from the very beginning. You can develop a great app, but with a wrong monetization model in store, you won’t be able to get the money you deserve for your hard work. There are three ways to monetize your apps and each of them is suitable for different apps.

You can monetize with in-app purchases, charge per download, or include ads within your apps. The monetization method you choose can directly impact how successful your app will be an how much money you will make. This is why it’s essential to choose the right model.

Ad monetization

When offering a free app to your users, one of the ways you can look to make money is to insert various ads within it. These ads can come in different shapes and sizes, including videos, banners, rich media, value exchange proposals or interstitials stretching across the whole screen, etc.

The type of ads you choose and the time when they are displayed are essential for the experience of your app users. This is why it’s very important to be careful. If you do it badly, people will simply stop using your app, meaning nobody will see the ads and you won’t be able to make money.

You get paid per ad view, no matter if users click on it. It’s important to insert ads at places where they don’t ruin the experience, during game breaks, between levels, or in the in-app store. It is also important to feature relevant ads based on your users and keep them as short as possible. This is usually a good model for games.

Purchases within the app

This model can work for both free and paid apps although it usually works better for free apps as users don’t want to pay for something twice. It usually comes down to opening more options, progressing more quickly, or acquiring in-app assets by paying for them.

For example, obtaining coins, buying new items, fuel, weapons, and so on. This model is very popular with games and with lifestyle apps that allow more functionalities. In order to implement this kind of monetization model, you will have to put in extra work and this is something you need to consider right from the start.

Your app will need to have a virtual currency and simply push users to want more. This is something that needs to be at the core of the user experience your app provides. If the app you are making is not going to be like this and doesn’t encourage users to progress and upgrade, chances are that they won’t purchase anything. Simply put, the user needs to want to go forward and progress.

Paying for apps

One of the oldest and most obvious monetization models is to charge for your app. However, although this model had more success in the past, it is now very difficult to be successful with it. This is because most people will not pay for an app unless they are sure that it’s good or that it is what they are looking for.

This means that you need to have authority or a great marketing campaign that will build the hype around your app. You must convince users that this app is worth the money and this can be difficult for smaller development companies. This is why the previous two models are more popular today.

On top of that, given the fact that a lot of apps are free to download, it is even more difficult to compete. You must work on making your app recommended by influencers and featured by stores if you want to be able to bring in revenue with this monetization model.


Make sure that you thoroughly consider the design of your app and the experience it provides to users. This is how you will be able to find an adequate model for it. Everything is connected to your monetization model, including your marketing strategy, so consider all of the factors before you determine the one you will go with.

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