Understanding The Best Mobile App Monetization Strategies In 2019


Currently, there are millions of apps in the universe; one can say that Smartphones and mobile apps are becoming the 4th necessity for a living after food, shelter, and clothing. Thousands of mobile apps developed and launched every month on the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store.

The biggest challenge the app owner faces with many great app ideas is setting up good mobile app monetization strategies or choosing a sustainable monetization model.

Fixing the price of your mobile apps can be an uphill climb. And so, we are here to give you a helping hand.

Let us start with providing you available options in the market. Have a look at these mobile app monetization strategies given below to understand each one in detail.

Free To Use Apps Generating Revenues without charging customers?


As the name says, these apps are free for the users and the developer earns revenue through ads. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, etc are all best examples of free apps that make you appreciate this pricing model. The free apps are the users’ favorite. The only condition to make good revenue out of this kind of mobile app monetization strategies is that it must have a large number of users.

Thus, if you want to quote your app to be free for users, you must be ensured that there are many users of your app so that you can rely on it for revenue generation. Though people easily download free apps, the main concern is keeping them interested in your app if you want to make a profit out of it.

Benefits of Free Apps Model


  • Customer engagement and Business Exposure
  • A large number of downloads as people love free things
  • Good revenue generated through ads

Drawbacks of Free Apps Model


  • To generate effective revenue from advertisements, you need a large group of your free app users.
  • Too many ads might result in bad user experience and too little ads might lead to less revenues and even losses.

TRoo Advice for the Free model


Launching a new app with free app strategy can be very effective for building a user base and eventually as you get high attention from your users, you can monetize your android and ios apps.

Want to Know How much a Free To Use App Can Earn?

A Report On Revenue Generated By Top 10 Free To Use Apps


Freemium Model The Most Popular App Monetization Strategy


The Freemium pricing strategy is an advanced version of the Free model and probably the one of the most popular mobile app monetization strategies used  2019. Here, your users can download and use your app for free but with some limitations.

Almost all the games on play store are based on free to play model, like you have to buy Gems in Clash of Clans for Boosting the time, or Purchase skins in PUBG.

Another way is users get the app for free to download and use, but further to gain advanced premium features of your app, they need to buy in-app purchases or monthly subscriptions like Tinder Gold or a Sportify Subscription.

Also, as a free app, your user might be getting in-app ads. But to overcome the ads, they need to pay one time and get the ad-free version of your app this is also one of the most common way of implementing the Freemium Model.

Freemium model is one of the most robust mobile app monetization strategies that has ever emerged in app industry.

Perks of the Freemium model


  • With this kind of mobile app monetization strategies, you will attract a huge audience base as it will be free to download and use basic features.
  • Once the users get used to your app, they will gradually start using premium paid features.

The Drawbacks


  • Your app users may be irritated as often your app asks for in-app purchase prompts or else the ads.
  • It is quite challenging for your developers to design the in-app purchases for any app, because the users tend to spend money only if they are engaged and amused with that feature.

TRooStake on the Freemium model


This is the best method to generate an everlasting royalty stream.

Journey of Free To Freemium.

Best Examples of Real-World Apps That Moved From Free to Freemium Model.


Paid Apps Simply Purchase It Forever


A simply understood pricing strategy is this one- Paid model. Users pay a one-time price and own your app and all its features after that. Still, users need to be very confident about you before buying your or any paid app.

Today there are more than 2.4 million free apps on the Google Play store, as compared to 210000 paid apps. For sure, this type of mobile app monetization strategies cannot be an easy and proven method to earn profit through mobile apps.

Paid app prices can range from 0.9$ to 9.99$, and mostly it is found that Android users are reluctant to pay for apps as compared to iPhone users. Many apps can be found free or freemium on the Google Play Store whereas the same app version is Paid on the iOS App Store.

Advantages of the Paid App Model


  • Established brands and businesses can make good profits by setting their mobile app pricing strategy to Paid because of their loyal customers.
  • Users pay for your app before using or interacting with it, making revenue independent of your app UI. However, reviews and ratings matter a lot in the app market.

The Drawbacks


  • Paid itself is a barrier when selling anything. Especially, when users get easy alternative free apps on the app stores.
  • Users rate a paid app adversely as compared to a worse free app.

TRooTip for you


Users would hesitate to pay a fee for something which they haven’t seen first. Keep your app free for the first 7 or 15 days, when the users can come across your brilliant app functions, then you can easily ask them to pay for the same app continuation.

Turn Your Business Idea into Quality App

We will help you create an app that people will pay for


Paymium Model Pay to Use + Pay for Premium

Paymium means charging additional in-app purchases in the paid apps. This one is a newer pricing model for mobile apps which is gaining traction. In this way, you can generate an additional revenue stream in spite of the initial paid price of your app.

Pros of the Paymium model


  • Encourages app developers creativity to find new revenue aiding ways.
  • Continuous income for developers as compared to one-time income in the paid model.

The Drawbacks


  • Users may find this model over demanding as they have to pay even after buying the paid app.
  • Consumes a lot of development time which makes developers unavailable for other projects.

TRoo recommendations for you


Leverage your app maximum by applying excellent marketing strategies so that your users can pay more than once for your app.

Before you finalize a pricing strategy for your mobile app, you must know this

How does the app-marketplace benefit through these monetization strategies?


Well, if you don’t know, we will let you know.

Whenever you are selling your paid app or delivering in-app purchases of your app, it is compulsory to use the policies set by Google Play Store and Apple App Store.

These policies mandate the use of payment modes as suggested by the platform. Google uses Google Pay and Apple allows in-app purchases through Apple Pay.

The reason is that both Google and Apple earn most of their revenue through your in-app purchases. According to the policies, you get the major share of your app-purchase only via those fixed payment modes and that too after deducing their share.

So, do not forget to mention the implementation of these policies along with your in-app purchase information.

Transaction fees/ Commission & Other Charges

Charges for using developer account (the account from which a developer can upload an app)

Google Charges One Time Registration Fee of $25 and the account persists for a lifetime.

Apple charges $99/ Year for Individual developer account.

Transaction fees are almost the same in both the platform.

Standard rate for apps and in-app purchases that google and apple charges is 30% (developer will get full 70% of final app price other all the charges will be bared by app markets)

Renewal rate for subscription service after one year is 15%, i.e. if there is any subscription services, like Netflix or Spotify with monthly subscription, google will charge 30% for the first year and if subscriber continues after one year the transaction rate will be reduced to 15% (so developer will get 85% instead of 70%)

Which categories(services) of your app are supported for in-app purchases?

Consumable Content

Content mostly used in games such as coins, extra lives, gems, equipment, etc can be sold as an in-app purchase. A user can buy such consumable content of your app multiple times.

Example: lives for CandyCrush game.

Non-consumable Content

Level packs, premium updates for a game, or a set of paid filters for a photo editor, all these are examples of non-consumable content. These are all one-time purchases.

Example: additional video filters for Spark Camera- Video Editor app on iPhone.

Cloud Storage

When the user purchases extra cloud storage on iCloud or some cloud software products for business productivity, internal data storage, financial management, etc.

Example: purchase of extra cloud space when users are running short of memory on their Apple device from the Storage Space app on the App Store.

Subscription Service

A subscription to digital magazine or newsletter. Access to a limited period of time. Once time runs out, the user has to renew it.

Example: subscribing for a month of Netflix video streaming app.

App functionality

Extra features which are not available in the free version of the app.

Example: purchase of 20 extra zaps for 20$ on the Zapier app.

Now that you know what features and functionalities you can sell on your app in the form of in-app purchases, time to also know what can’t be sold in that manner.

In the following cases you will not have to pay transaction fees to marketplaces

  • Physical product like purchasing physical goods/service like movie tickets, event tickets.
  • Content which is consumed outside the app like buying a song which can be played in a music player.
  • Retail merchandise like Clothing, groceries, electronic products, etc.
  • Service fees like payment for taxi booking apps, food delivery apps.

Case Study of App That Evaded

The Transaction Fees Of App Market


TRooTips For Mobile App Monetization

After knowing all the above information, we believe you will be able to set your app price conveniently.

Sure you don’t want your app users to feel like – when you regretted your instant decision after buying your favorite product, only to find it is way too pricey!

Thus, the TRooSaints help you morally as well to help you decide amongst the mobile apps monetization strategies.

Demand only as much your users are ready to pay


People tend to be very cautious about spending their money. That’s pretty obvious. Who doesn’t love their money?

While deciding your mobile apps monetization strategies, make sure that your app is not aiming at a very high price such that the users would not be ready to pay.

The best way is by trying on different prices and see how people respond to each test-price and then finalize the right price range of your mobile app.

Your App value should outpace its price


Before selling your mobile app, you must study human psychology. Customers tend to be really excited and happy when they buy something valuable at a rather small price.

Ideally, users generate a price in their mind for any product they wish to buy. They would buy the product if its price range is close to the user’s expectations. Otherwise, if the price is very high as compared to their expectations, they are reluctant to buy it.

So, when you offer a really valuable app at an easy price, your prospects will be really pleased to buy your app.

Cost-effective price


To determine your mobile app price, you must consider all the developmental costs of your app. The price you must have paid to the app developers and designers, added to the app-marketing costs, makeup to the effortful cost behind making the app.

Moreover, your app would require regular updates so be sure to add those costs along with the social security, taxes, and insurance.

When you plan and strategically quote your mobile app price, your app is sure to be downloaded by your users.

Competitive analysis


Being a customer yourself, don’t you try a handful of different brands, compare, and then finally buy a specific product?

Same goes for mobile apps. When users are looking for a particular type of app, they do like to study what all apps are available and at what prices in the market.

Thus, you must analyze the market to judge what uniqueness is required in your app and you should also know how your competitors are monetizing their apps.

Affordability for the users


A prime thing you must keep in mind about your customers (app-users) is that your app shouldn’t emboss force upon them. Freedom leads your users to get engaged in your app rather than fixed charges/fees/subscriptions.

By studying your demographics, you must be knowing how willing your prospects are to spend on your app. Accordingly, you should take care that the price you quote for your mobile app is affordable to its users.

Valuable app-data


Apart from setting your mobile app monetization strategy, there’s more to what can gain you revenue. Your App Data.

Certainly, data is critical and crucial. You can sell the data that is being produced through your app. Say for example the data produced in a healthcare app can be used by doctors and hospitals.

If you have created a social networking app, then advertising companies would be interested in your app data for their targeted ads.

 A pricey app would be high on users’ expectations


The human tendency has linked free to useless and pricey to very useful! Whenever users are buying a product or app at a price, they expect superb functionalities within it.

To suffice with this if you are thinking to monetize your mobile app then you must offer robust and reliable functionalities to satisfy your app users.

 Price targeted to your market


Pricing may never work the same for all. Your competitor’s mobile app pricing strategy may work fruitfully for him, but that might not work for you. It’s like a trial and error process.

After getting your app developed, you must study that which market is it developed to address. If it is an app for the affluent-class society, they wouldn’t mind paying a price for it. But if your app is built to sort the life essentials of the average-class society, it has to be free so that users are anticipating to use it.

Long term business sustainable price


The pricing model of your mobile app should be viable with your business plans. You must think about whether your mobile app price will be potent in generating a continuous revenue stream.

Likewise, you must calculate whether a subscription model or in-app purchases will be affordable and preferable to your customers. Also, you will have to think of running your business, hiring employees & developers, and planning a marketing strategy.

Customer convincing


Customers will purchase and use your app only when they get something useful out of it. So it becomes your responsibility to prove your prospects the worth of your app.

Your customers will be willing to pay for an app that brings them some value, benefit, pleasure, or usefulness. Little effort towards the right marketing of your mobile app will do the magic.

The Power Lies In Your Hands.

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Which one should you choose?

The price of a mobile app depends on multiple factors and addressing all those factors correctly is your obligation.

We hope this article would have helped you to understand the basics about app monetization.

If you still have any question regarding how to monetize your app or which model you should choose, you can always talk to us.

More About Author


Vishal Nakum

Vishal Nakum is a tech enthusiast with a passion for exploring the latest developments in the world of technology. He has a keen interest in emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Blockchain, and enjoys keeping up-to-date with the latest trends and advancements in these fields. Vishal is an avid learner and is always on the lookout for new ways to expand his knowledge and skills. He is also a creative thinker and enjoys experimenting with new ideas and concepts. In his free time, Vishal enjoys playing video games and reading books on technology and science.