8 Mobile App Monetization Strategies that Work

The Latest report says that in 2015, the mobile apps in number surpassed 179 billion a vast majority amounting to 93% of all these apps have been downloaded for free. On the other hand, a majority of these apps just did not make enough money to sustain as a business. Paid apps make money more consistently in comparison to most free apps. So, we cannot write off any single monetization strategy right away.

There are pros and cons on all sides and to ensure steady ROI from the mobile app you need to identify a strategy that works for your target users. While so called monetization strategy is important, to prevent your app from getting lost in a multitude of apps is the most important thing and that can only be done by ensuring user friendliness and creating a niche audience for your app.

Moreover, no monetization strategy can assuredly offer success overnight and for some time a try and test approach may be required. A blend of diverse strategies rather than sticking to a single method can be more rewarding in this respect. Let us now introduce top 8 mobile app monetization strategies that really work.

Freemium Model

Developers often launch two separate versions of the same app, respectively the basic and free app and the premium app with gated features. While the free version introduces the user with the app along with the basic features of the app, it also lures the user to subscribe the paid app for a better experience with more features. This approach often called as Freemium is great to make users interested in downloading the app with additional features ensuring more ease, functions and quality of content.

Many mobile games utilized this Freemium model to the best of their advantage. Playing free games for some time, the user is more likely to go for more features to enhance the enjoyment from the game. A free game can come with the option to upgrade to the version with next steps for more enjoyment. Similarly, a free cloud storage app can offer more storage with the premium version.

In-app Purchase

Through making in-app purchases users can add more value to their experience. There are countless examples of this in gaming apps. For example, when playing a game the player can purchase certain tokens or can bargain for an extra life or a chance to participate in the game, etc. A gamer being addicted to the game is very likely to find this shopping and corresponding more enjoyable. Besides games this can be seen in various productivity apps, content rich apps. By just purchasing, a coupon a user can increase memory, upgrade profile and make the experience better in many regards.


Partnering with a similar type of company that shares an identical customer base can let you do certain things enhancing your scope of monetization. For instance, you can integrate the offering into your app just for a referral fee. Creating an integral experience is crucial in this respect.

Content Strategy

Well, in that sense app content is directly not a strategy for monetization, but it can have a great overall influence on this, no doubt. Without great content and winning features an app literally stands no chance to find download and convert. If you’re going to take the time and effort to develop a mobile app, as an app publisher you should always remember that without engaging users through content and features, hardly can you expect it to deliver the volume of users and business value.

Payable Features

It is rather a similar strategy to the Freemium where the features as well as the app content are locked. While apps can offer a specific amount of contents and app functions for free, other valuable contents and features can be locked against a paid subscription Service app can find this strategy ideal to open up new functions when needed.

Incentivized Advertising

This is one of the newest features of the mobile world. With this monetization strategy you need to partner up with advertisers who are ready to reward your user as soon as they complete different in-app activities. Thus, by offering an incentive system of this sort you can always demand a share of the revenue redeemed by users.

A Data-Driven App Engagement Strategy

Focus on user acquisition often makes mobile app marketers forget about the ROI from the app. That is why to drive monetization by re-engaging the existing users is more important. Churned users are seen to have the biggest buying potential compared to other users and so any drop in engagement is likely to result in a steady loss of your most valuable user. As per a recent study by localities around 20% of users are churned after just using the app for once. You can monetize your app far better by only focusing on your user retention.

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Written by
Juned Ghachi is the CEO of IndianAppDevelopers, a professional mobile app development company in India for full-cycle mobility solutions. Having 10+ years of experience in the digital marketing field, he excels at offering the best technical advice to clients.

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Raza is a tech entrepreneur with an experience of working with 500+ clients. His key expertise is around tech consultation, where he guides people on how to successfully build digital softwares for their businesses.


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