Revisiting the Top Mobile App Revenue Models

This was one of the most popular posts from last year that is appropriate to revisit again.  In asking hundreds of mobile app developers what they wanted help on, we got a lot of different responses. Most of them fell within three categories – a) how to monetize their app, b) how to market their apps cost-effectively, and c) making it easier for apps to be found and discovered. There were a lot of other questions, some regarding specific platforms, specific app components, etc.

One of the first aims of this blog has been to help developers better monetize their mobile apps. Most app developers gravitate to one or two of 3 or 4 revenue models – free, freemium with ads, freemium with in app purchases, or premium direct sales.   Most of these are revenue models not really covered elsewhere.

Top 10 Mobile App Revenue Models

  1. In-App Advertising
  2. Free with Paid Upgrades
  3. Premium
  4. In-App Currency (and Vanity Products)
  5. Crowdfunding
  6. Memberships/Subscriptions
  7. Sponsors
  8. Surveys & Reports (plus Survey Sponsors)

Number 9.  Okay, Number 9… aside from associations with The Beatles, we covered the idea briefly earlier with Strategizing with Older Apps.   That mainly examined the idea of buying licenses to older apps and rejuvenating them for newer markets. One of the most important aspects of developing a business plan and getting into any business is having an exit strategy.  In this regard, you may look at selling the rights to your app, licensing it out or considering a similar arrangement.

Number 10.  This one is basic – Have your own store.  Whether you sell your own stuff, act as a retailer or simply as an affiliate, depending upon the nature of your app and its popularity, not having a store leaves money on the table.   The aim is very simple – promote products related to what the users of your app use.

11.  Government Grants.    While it is not easy to get your first grant, once you have been through the process, know the system and how it works, governments will give you money to… design stuff.   The same goes for various endowments and non-government organizations (NGO’s).   The filing requirements can be burdensome, advocating perhaps hooking up with a grant writer or someone who has already done it themselves.   Many governments also announce projects for open bidding.

Quite a few of these can be mixed and matched, you don’t and really should not lock yourself into a single method of monetizing your effort if you can help it.

Project Manager at the Opera Mobile Store providing Sales-Marketing support. Content development and research.

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