Apps have become more than a trend; they have become part of our lifestyle. If you have a smartphone, chances are that you use a number of apps for news, movies as well as your lifestyle. As you would imagine, a vast number of apps are released onto the marketplace daily, but are they all financially viable?
Apps can be a great way of marketing an idea, product or video game, but for them to yield rewards, they have to be monetised in the right way. The most straightforward solution is to offer the app for a set fee, but for this to be viable, the app has to offer premium features that other apps may not.
However, that doesn’t mean that your hard work has been in vain, because there are many ways to monetise your app, you just need to ensure the strategy used is the most viable for your particular app.
A fairly obvious option, but it still needs to be instilled in the right way. Apps are ten-a-plenty, so you often see a number of apps and games available for free. The reason why developers can offer these apps for free is because they will offer advertising within the app.
Engaging games are often popular using this model, as are apps that offer facilities for a number of different lifestyles. For example, daily planners, guitar tuner apps and photo editing apps are among those that share a vast popularity among the community.
There are a number of ad platforms available, but you will need to determine which will be best for your particular app:
Developers that are familiar with Google’s Adsense program will know what to expect from the AdMob program. Introduced by Google as an advertising platform for mobile apps, famed for its easy-to-use integration system.
1.2 Millennial Media
Millennial Media is a self-service platform that offers advertising solution that helps developers instil advertising within their apps, and even have access to advertising features that could help drive the popularity of your app.
Chartboost is an advertising platform aimed solely at games. So while not for everyone, game developers will find themselves able to instil advertising with a higher CTR, as all ads are geared towards the gaming community.
Advertising can often be seen as something of a hindrance, but the truth is that advertising has a come a long way since the days of spammy e-mails. App users are often greeted with ads that appeal to them, as well as being relevant to their location. This is thanks to technological advancements such as Wi-Fi, beacons and GPS.
Developers can also look into partnerships with other companies who can offer rewards for users who view their advertising. For example, a number of popular apps invite users to view advertising videos in return for in-game currency or additional features as a reward.
A further option can be instilled that allows the user to remove the advertising for a small fee, which leads us onto our next strategy.
2. Offer a Premium Version of Your Free App
We’ve already touched on how popular free apps are, but just because people aren’t keen to invest in the first instance, their decision could be swayed once they have spent some time with your app. As such, you should look to offer a premium version of your app. We’ve already touched base on the removal of advertising, but you could also look to offer extra features to those who decide to make a purchase.
If your app is responsive and of use to the community, you could find that this particular business model could yield you a number of rewards, albeit over a longer time frame.
3. Offer a Subscription
In order to instil this business model, your app should be aimed towards a certain demographic. Apps that normally come with a subscription will offer customers an incentive to keep subscribing. Popular apps that such a business model include apps that stream movies, reading apps and magazine subscription apps.
Having a library of content that is both appealing and fresh to an audience will do wonders in keeping your subscribers on board.
4. Promote Long-Term Engagement
Due to the vast number of apps available, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that some users forget what apps are installed on their device. A way around this is to offer push notifications, while not necessarily the biggest source of revenue, it does encourage user engagement.
Depending on the business model, i.e. an app with a set fee, or a free app that contains advertising, the promotion of your app via push notifications could yield you a number of financial rewards if done in the right way.
Push notifications should be engaging and encourage the user to open the app, a series of push notifications that force users to open the app could result in the app being removed altogether, along with some less-than-favourable reviews.
5. White Label Your Existing Code
It could be that you’ve come up with a brilliant app idea, but the overall monetisation is a problem. Maybe the ads don’t sit well within the app, so you’ve decided to remove the advertising. Evidently, this means that a popular app could be creating a buzz, but not making much in the way of revenue.
However, there are many other developers who may wish to you use your code, albeit with some alterations, if your app creates the right kind of buzz. While not as robust as other business models, it is a good way of generating revenue without having to make changes to your current app.
6. Partner an App with an Existing Business Model
If you already have a business that offers physical goods or a service, you can offer an app for free, and still yield the rewards. The app can be used as another portal to your online store, an option worth instilling if you consider that by the second quarter of 2016, there will be around 43 million app users in the UK alone.
As you can see there are a number of options in which you can generate revenue from your mobile app, but you need to ensure that the first kind of research is done in the first instance. Developers should look at what kind of apps are popular, and what kind of business model will be best for the app in question.
You should also look into the rules of each platform. For example, Android app developers may have more of a free reign than Apple developers when it comes to developing the app, but if you’re hoping to release the app across a number of different platforms, you should check the submission process for each marketplace separately.