Free mobile apps are a popular category in the app stores. With over a million apps available, it’s easy to see why. Apps are free to download, but make money through advertisements, in-app purchases, and subscriptions.
Ads are a popular way to monetize a free mobile app. These may appear as display ads or interactive elements. Users can click on these to learn more about a product, see product details, and take surveys. However, users rate ad-supported free apps lower than apps without ads.
In-app purchases allow users to purchase content within an app. They are charged to the customer’s Google Play Store account or credit card. This revenue stream works best for free game apps.
Subscriptions work well for heavy content-focused services. When customers subscribe, they unlock content, as well as other features, like the ability to change location. Subscribers can also automatically renew their subscription.
Email marketing is a powerful monetization strategy. Mobile app owners can send promotional offers to users and collect their email addresses. If users don’t want to receive emails from an app, they can uninstall it. Having an option to cancel email notifications makes the app more trustworthy.
Besides using advertising to monetize free mobile apps, app publishers can also promote affiliate products. Affiliate programs make it easier to market third-party products.
A mobile app’s monetization model must be suited to the purpose of the app. It’s important to perform competitor analysis to determine potential revenue channels. Find out what monetization methods competitors are using, as well as any gaps. Learn from their mistakes.