1. Free Mobile Apps with In-App Ads

This works as a business model because you are gathering user data which you can sell to advertisers, or you can sell space on the platform for people to place their ads. Notification ads should be considered when using Android as they can be used to send push notifications to the user even when they are not using the app. Users like this model because they are not paying for the app but the main drawback is that they can become irritated by the ads and uninstall it later. Advertisements also take up some screen space which could impact the user experience of your app.

2. Selling Goods or Services In-App

Whatever you sell you can use the app as another sales channel especially if you are involved in gaming or eCommerce. Users often engage more with these especially if they can buy virtual goods like music or perhaps some tools they need in a gaming app. The downside is that some of the revenue will end up with the app store.

3. Apps with Locked Features

Like a free app model the user can access the app for free but to unlock the full features they will need to pay. The aim is that the user likes the basic functionality and then looks to add the premium features. This is known as the ‘Freemium model’ and has been used to successfully grow game apps like Angry Birds where users paid a small fee to access the full version.

4. Fixed Price Apps

This is a charge-per-download model where the user has to pay for the app in the store before they can download it. There is always some marketing needed to encourage users to look at the app and, in such a competitive market, the price needs to be set at a level that is not prohibitive. The success of this model depends on how well received the app is by the users, it must offer a unique set of benefits to appeal in the face of stiff competition from apps using a free apps model.

5. Paid Subscriptions

Also known as Paywalls this is like the Freemium model but it is content not features that is locked. The free user can see limited content but to get more access they have to sign up for a subscription. The benefit of this is that there is recurring monthly revenue. The app can also support ads inside the content to raise additional revenue but the content has to be consistently unique and valuable to retain users.

6. Incentivized Advertising

Incentivized Advertising allows an advertiser to operate within the app and offer rewards to users. For example, if a customer completes a game level an advertiser may offer them access to a special offer.

App developers must take account of the highly complex and competitive nature of the market and employ creative strategies to monetize their offerings. Using a combination of models is often more successful than limiting yourself to just one. As with many other areas of app development monetization means having to get creative.

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