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8 Best Ways How to Earn Extra Money from Mobile Apps in 2019

Android, Android App, iOS, iOS App, Mobile Development

Imagine the following situation: you are trying to choose between two apps. They have more or less the same functions, but one of them is free, and the other one is paid. Which one would you download? You would probably go for the free application, and that’s exactly what most of your users would also do!

If your product is not unique and very special, customers are more likely to prefer a free app over a paid one. However, you are not developing apps only for fun — you also want to earn some money by releasing them and go for mobile app monetization. But how can you do this while keeping your application free to download? No worries, it is possible, and we have prepared a guide to help you.

App development teams are striving to offer a unique profit to their customers and gain a competitive advantage. They consider well-matched mobile apps monetization to be the core go-to-market approach. Monetization for mobile apps is an excellent money-generating tool that can bring your company additional income.

Before getting started, think of the best approaches to monetization that might fit the product under development, since making a wrong choice can have a bad influence on the customer's experience. Another aspect is cooperation with the development or marketing company that would provide you these services. Can you find a great team of remote working developers in Sannacode, or will you just hire one or two experts and pay them hourly?

So, how to choose the best monetization strategy? Here you can find the right ways:

Step 1 Find your audience and explore the audience’s needs.
Step 2 Do research, figure out key points, such as gender, age, user’s behavior, content preferences, etc.
Step 3 Look through a group of users sharing common needs and target them first. Then later target your strategy to a different audience.
Step 4 Develop an app according to the needs of the audience. Focus on features that will be useful for users.

Think of the profitable ways of monetization before you start developing your app. Below you can find an exhaustive list of effective ways of monetizing your product.

Video ads

Video content is considered to be extremely engaging, so adding video ads to your application is a great decision. Videos can be shown either at transition points (for instance, while the game level is loading), or offered to the user to watch for a reward.

Watching ads in exchange for in-app rewards entices people to spend more time using your app. As a result, mobile app monetization blooms and in-app revenue coming from ads increases. The best part of this is that rewarded videos don’t interrupt users’ in-app activities; users are the ones who decide whether to watch an ad or not.

For the reward, a user can get a bit of in-game virtual currency for watching a video, or another similar reward.

What is the value of this approach?

  • Perfect for non-paid apps

Paid downloads

The App Store and Play Market offer excellent selling opportunities for iOS or Android products and that’s how some teams monetize their apps. According to Statista research, the number of available applications in the Google Play Store on June 2019, representing a 15 percent increase compared to the same quarter of 2015. Evidently, the trend of using paid apps is increasing.

The main disadvantage of this method is that your app must be very competitive and have strong value for the customers who will pay for the download.

Who might use this type of monetization?

  • Companies with powerful marketing teams
  • Commercially unique products
  • Apps with reasonable prices for downloads

Native ads & smart banners

Thanks to massive investments coming from advertisers, the app industry is expected to become the third-biggest economy on the planet by 2021, which will provide grounds for more efficient mobile app monetization.

Another rising ad format is the smart banner — an inheritor of a well-known standard mobile banner. While good - old banners have fixed sizes, width and height, smart banners dynamically adjust to the size and orientation of a mobile screen.

Keep in mind that the banners should be designed very carefully. They are initially small and look even smaller on a smartphone’s screen. So, they shouldn’t contain too much text — a user won’t pay a lot of attention to tiny letters.

Whom are these tools best for?

  • Developers of non-paid apps
  • Apps without in-app purchases


Data Monetization

Data Monetization is one of the non-obvious ways of effective mobile app monetization. It helps to set up the right direction for business development or improve existing products and services for the better.

Thanks to the huge number of different mobile apps, we have been provided access to a tremendous amount of user data. However, data monetization is not all about user data.

This app monetization method works only with the non-personal identifiable data. Collectors usually seek to buy it in bulk. The more non-personal data they bring together, the more precise it becomes. This is why the apps with a significant number of daily active users have a higher priority for data collectors.

With data monetization, the story is as simple as this: the more daily active users you have, the higher the revenue you will get. And the more data collectors you have in a pool, the more data you’ll monetize as well.

What are the main benefits of this method?

  • Data monetization suits any category of mobile apps
  • You’ll get paid for every user who agrees to regularly confirm their consent to collect data
  • The data collection takes place in the background, so the UX stays untouched


Freemium vs Premium

Everybody has at least once experienced an offer to upgrade their account to premium and get some additional options.

But what is freemium? Freemium is a kind of a business model which offers shareware programs. For example, you may try to play a mobile game while an extended version is available only once you paid for an update.

Who can benefit from using freemium as a way to get paid for your app?

  • One which offers a lot of new useful features after signing up for the premium
  • Apps with a great subscription plan and variety of price options


Interstitial, playable & notification ads

Interstitial ads are usually more efficient than banners, as they cover the entire app’s layout. In most cases, users can skip such an ad only after it is shown for a certain amount of time.

Playable ads can be especially useful in case you advertiser is a game or a mobile casino. They work as the following: users can instantly try playing the game (just right in the ad) and then decide if they want to download it or not.

These ads appear in the smartphone’s status bar, just like push notifications. Try not to overuse them. Otherwise, such ads will only irritate users and nothing more.

When would these tools work?

  • At the apps without in-app purchases
  • When the creator knows his users and monitors the changes in their behavior



Subscription is a method of monetization of mobile apps that are valuable for their content such as news, music or videos.

Users can get a limited amount of content for free while full access can be bought. For example, Netflix can be watched for free for one month after which you have to pay a subscription fee to view more videos.

Who can implement a subscription plan for their apps?

  • An app that provides compelling content
  • An app that encourage people to use it frequently or permanently


Mixed Ways

You can effectively combine multiple ways of app monetization and increase your probability in attracting more users. Be sure you know how these methods interact and affect each other.

Nail down an idea of how to implement the marketing strategy and your methods of monetization before your app’s launch. You can launch a free trial if your app is paid or create a video ad if your app is free. There is a large number of ways you can choose to avoid building your project blindly with the hope that it will immediately make a big splash.

Note that you need to choose the best way, bearing in mind the mobile platform where your app will run on.

Sannacode – a design and development company specializing in unique mobile apps will recommend the best go-to-market strategy to you. Contact us to learn more about the most effective and profitable methods to earn money with your mobile development.

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