How To Monetize Apps – A Quick Monetization Guide

Mobile app monetization, like web monetization, is a revenue generating process. Except with app monetization, instead of generating traffic that is sent to a particular website to generate revenue, your focus is on making money from your app.

There are different ways that you can monetize a mobile app. The following is a brief and useful guide one the most effective app monetization strategies that are used by mobile application developers, especially those who make their apps available for free.

In-app Advertising

If you want to let users download your app for free, ads are how you will make money. However, there is a smart way to include ads into your apps and a wrong way that will annoy users and hinder your monetization success. One of the most common forms of advertising is in-app advertising.

This is a form of advertising that will not distract users from their experience with your application. The ads that are chosen are designed to appeal to your prime target market, and provide them with relevant offers. The ads should be organic and should feel like a natural part of your app. They also shouldn’t be intrusive. For instance, if your app is a game, a natural place for an in-app ad to appear would be during a natural break in the game, such as after a user finishes a level, etc.

App Monetization

In-app Purchases

The goal of this style of app monetization is to transform your app into an additional sales channel. This could be for the selling of physical products used in the real world or for selling virtual goods that can be used exclusively within the app. You would retain the profits of what you sold. In-app purchases can include an extensive range of goods and is not limited to retail apps. However, this particular strategy tends to be ideal for those offering a service or retail app.

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That being said, whether you are selling virtual goods, such as in-game currency, or physical goods, make sure that whatever you’re selling is a natural part of the app experience. The experience should feel honest and not come as a surprise to the user.


This is another favorite app monetization method for free app developers, and usually works well with games, but can also be used for plenty of other apps including e-readers, streaming music apps, and essentially any app that provides users with a basic service, but if they want the additional features, they’ll need to pay for them.

This particular technique works well with games because it lets users download and try games for free without worrying about the cost. Once they’ve enjoyed a few levels of the game and want to unlock new levels or experience the full version for more hours of playtime, they will have the option to pay for it. They may feel more inclined to spend now that they know what the game is like and it has caught their interest.  A well-known game that had success with this strategy is Angry Birds.


For this app monetization model, you would partner with advertisers. These advertisers provide your users with rewards when the users complete certain actions in your app. Using this method, you would earn money from your app by taking a cut of the revenue for the rewards that are redeemed. This model typically does well because it is often well received by app users and can be adapted for almost any app, and works especially well for apps that naturally reward in-app activity.

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