Although app development can be time-consuming and require a hefty upfront investment, the rewards are virtually endless. Get your app right, and you could generate millions of dollars in in-app revenue; after all, the Apple App Store paid out an eye-watering $72.3 billion to developers last year, whilst Google Play apps collectively generated $38.6 billion.
We’ve rounded up some app monetisation strategies to give you some food for thought.
Monetising through adverts
The in-app advertising market topped $90.7 billion in 2020 and is expected to balloon to $226.4 billion by 2025 as consumers spend more of their time inside of apps. Whether they are playing games, catching up with pals on social media or working on business proposals, virtually every app in the App Store Top 100 runs off advertising, and ads could be the right monetisation strategy for your own app. Here are the most common advertisements types:
- Banner ads: Banner ads are the cheapest option and are easy to integrate into your app. You can sign up to an ad management tool like Google AdSense and have ads appear on your app without involvement, and be paid per click or 1,000 impressions. However, banner ads are annoying, distract users from your core product, and can be obtrusive, especially on smaller screens; use sparingly or risk unhappy users.
- Native ads: Native advertising looks more professional, seamlessly integrates with your existing user interface and offers familiar interactions. If you run an eCommerce app, for example, you could allow other brands to advertise their products in your search engine results pages (SERPs) and get paid when people buy. However, such ads are more expensive and take longer to develop and maintain than banner ads.
- Full-screen ads: Mostly commonly used in games and ‘freemium’ products, full-screen advertisements are immersive and interactive and as a business owner, you can command a premium for them. However, it reduces app usability, can be annoying to users, and impact retention and uninstall rates. If you are planning to use full-screen ads, we recommend A/B testing to find the right balance.
An increasingly popular monetisation strategy for app developers is to integrate in-app subscriptions or monthly rolling plans – software as a service is big business. If your app solves a problem and helps consumers or professionals be more productive, the chances are that they’ll be prepared to pay for it. CoBloom has put together a useful guide to SaaS pricing strategies and some psychological hacks, like price anchoring and charm pricing to encourage users to commit to a subscription. Whether you’re offering tools, online classes, or even next day delivery, a subscription-based model is one of the best ways to monetise your app as it delivers consistent monthly revenue which you can reinvest into new features.
Another in-app monetisation strategy to consider is introducing consumable content, which are add-ons that can be used once or have a limited lifespan. Think in-app currencies, points, and powerups that unlock limited-time features or benefits. Consumables work well in mobile games as they’re relatively inexpensive (often less than £1) but offer value and are designed with repeat purchases in mind. Make them attractive and sales will naturally come.
Non-consumables, on the other hand, allow you to offer additional features, access, or functionality that can be used indefinitely. They’re particularly attractive as consumers are suffering from subscription fatigue, with many unwilling to pay for an additional service or piece of software. Whether you’re selling filters, stickers, documents, files, or access to a ‘VIP Members Area,’ there are lots of ways to work non-consumables into your new app.
Donations or ‘virtual tip jars’
Finally, don’t underestimate the power of community. If you’re not comfortable with the idea of advertisements or in-app purchases, an alternative would be to allow users to make a donation to your business or charity through a virtual tip jar. The rise of community platforms like Patreon, which allow fans of businesses, brands, and influencers to pay for access to exclusive content, has proven the business model, and it can be easily adapted to your app.
Social networking app Twitter is set to launch a Super Follow feature in the coming months, too, allowing consumers to pay $4.99 per month for access to additional content from their favourite creators. Following a similar strategy for your app could be the key to monetisation.
The best way to maximise your chances of success is to create an immersive and engaging app that offers real value to your users. Call the app development team at Zudu on 01382 690 080 to discuss your project in more detail and let’s create something great together.