Revenue Models For Mobile Apps That Every Developer Should Know


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Mobile app success depends on various factors like audience engagement, number of downloads, number of users, and plenty of others. However, the ultimate agenda of the app success depends highly on the ability to generate revenue. Whether it is the client or the developer both of them ultimately intends on the ways of incoming revenue.

There are several ways of monetizing your app. However, there is no one-shot solution to this. Different apps have different nature, agenda, target audience, and hence different technique to make money from it. Which technique will suit your app the best should be decided pre-hand. However, if you haven’t already decided, it’s not that late as well. Here are some of the popular revenue models you can choose from for mobile app development.

The first and foremost thing is to define certain things about your app.

1) What is the solution to your user’s problem?
2) Why is the USP of your app?
3) Why is your app different?
4) What is your competitor’s revenue model and how did it work out for them?

Once you figure out all these answers, you can move forward with choosing the best model for your app.

1) In-App Advertising

This is one of the most popular revenue models and seen in the majority of mobile apps these days. The apps under these revenue model are free for the users and they are diverted to the advertisers for the payment. The agenda of such a revenue model is to accumulate a good amount of user base and its data. The data will be shared with the app publishers which will be used to place relevant ads and make money. Based on a study, it is said that almost 53% of the global app users click on the ads placed in the apps.

2) Freemium

Freemium apps are just like its name and available for free to the users. In this model, the basic features of the app are free for the users so that your app doesn’t lose on all the users. However, to make the money out of it, certain premium features of the app are kept locked. So, the users who are willing to use the app to its optimum will pay to use all the features. The best thing is that your app can create a loyal and huge audience base yet keep the chance of monetization open.

3) Paid Apps

In the paid app model, the user will have to pay right at the point of downloading it. These apps are more like a product in the market. You pay the price and get the product. Paid apps are just like that as they are not at all free to download. With such a monetization model, the app has to be outstanding with top-notch features, top ratings, and reviews to compel the users to choose the app over other free apps available. The app must have the caliber to stand out from the pool of apps.

4) Subscription Apps

These apps focus on a free trial and pay later kind of model. First, they give the users a free trial of the app which will hook the users and it will motivate them to pay to keep using it. Some of the popular examples of such apps are Netflix, Hotstar, and Amazon Prime. Such apps ask either for the monthly payment or for the yearly payments. Such apps are great for recurring revenue generation. However, the content of such apps has to be kept updated as the users won’t pay again for the same stuff.

5) Sponsorship Apps

This is quite a fresh concept in the app monetization types. Here the advertisers will give the rewards or awards for using the app and make them use it in the app to earn more. The users will be happy and satisfied as they are benefited from the app and gradually starts to invest to earn more.


  1. Hi Pratik,
    Could you let me know which study are you referring to here “Based on a study, it is said that almost 53% of the global app users click on the ads placed in the apps”? I couldn’t find any such number online and would be really helpful if you could let me know, up to what percent here is a safe assumption.


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