Mobile App Monetization

The Most Comprehensive Guide to Mobile App Monetization

This article has everything you need to know about mobile app monetization. We’ll take a look at several different approaches and discuss their advantages and disadvantages. Additionally, optimizing your app’s income potential is something you’ll learn about here.

You can use this guide regardless of whether you are a developer or an app owner. Some of you will be in the early phases of your mobile app monetization journey, whether you have a free or premium app. Some will be specialists in hybrid app monetization with years of practice under their belts. Anyone who wants to make money from their mobile app should read this tutorial.

In any case, we hope that this article will help you better understand how to monetize your mobile app. After reading this post, you will understand how it works and maximize your app’s earnings.

What is mobile app monetization?

To put it simply, app monetization is the process of turning your app’s users into a source of income. There are many strategies involved in this process. Several mobile app monetization strategies are more suited to certain types of applications than others. While some applications concentrate just on one area of app monetization, others include a variety of them.

With your app, you will need to bring in money for yourself as a developer. It might not be easy to stay afloat in the app economy. Therefore, you must go through the suggestions in this article unless you’ve already secured a substantial amount of cash.

Mobile App Monetization - Turning Your App Into Income
The Primary Aim of Mobile App Monetization Is to Make Money with Your App

Why is mobile app monetization important?

Mobile app monetization has become critical because it has become more common to find free apps at the time of installation. This means that the app’s business model has to be reworked in light of this.

Change in the revenue model after the download is necessary for success in the app market. When it comes to your strategy, this is where it all begins. Take your time and make one that secures the following two outcomes:

  1. Your app is bringing in more and more money.
  2. You can keep your clients and the user experience intact.

It’s easy to overlook the second part of the equation. You must also consider how mobile app monetization impacts the user experience to maximize income from your app.

App monetization statistics and data

BuildFire estimates that 88% of mobile time is spent on apps. Global app revenue surpassed $70 billion in 2015. Toward the end of 2016, this figure had climbed to $88 billion. Those are big gains in only one year. According to Statista’s forecasts, the worldwide income from mobile applications is expected to reach $935 billion by 2023.

Take a look at the graph:

For now, in-app advertising dominates mobile app revenue tactics. Indeed, advertising formats have improved in recent years, and app income models are becoming more heavily reliant on ad-based revenue. Native advertisements are also a popular kind of in-app advertising, which the app ad industry likes to refer to as an example of advancement.

Approximately 20% of applications in both the major app stores, namely Play Store by Google and App Store by Apple, use paid models to generate income. This is stable as an app revenue model, but subscription models are growing more common as developers find the concept of recurring money appealing.

Looking at this data on mobile app monetization can teach you a lot about your app’s revenue strategy. Ads for mobile apps are on the upswing. When the bubble bursts, will developers notice? There may be a benefit in the future for applications that don’t rely on advertising as a source of income. With the rise of other mobile app monetization approaches, this is a definite possibility as well.

Mobile app monetization strategy

Let’s take a look at some of the existing mobile app monetization options. We’ve outlined the benefits and drawbacks of each, as well as a few examples.

1. In-App Purchases

In-app purchases may take many different forms, such as an additional exercise in a fitness app, a new user-level or reward, a one-time cheat for a mobile game, or a premium feature in a productivity app. With this mobile app monetization strategy, the essential thing to remember is that your app must be functioning without the extra payment, with the add-on helping to improve the user experience.


  • With a free app, you’ll have a lot more people using it right away.
  • It’s a low-risk move, as you’re not denying users access to key features or content.
  • Using in-app purchases, you can generate a sizable profit since they don’t need the storage or maintenance of physical stock.
  • Add-ons enhance the user experience, which in turn encourages repeat business.
  • It is possible to use this in combination with other monetization strategies.


  • Even if your software is well-liked, some customers will never purchase from you. The amount of money you make might go up and down a lot when you monetize in this manner.
  • As is the case with premium apps, Google and Apple keep a sizable portion of any income you earn.
  • If someone mistakenly purchased anything (say, a toddler messing around with their parent’s tablet), you may get more requests for refunds.


Wordscapes is a well-known crossword-solving application. Note: The game’s in-app purchases are clearly stated in the app store header: This app is also an excellent example of a business that uses various mobile app monetization methods to generate revenue. In between certain games and levels, it also displays static and video advertisements.

2. In-App Advertising

Like we said before, advertising is the most popular way to monetize mobile applications out of all of them. The app’s promise of being fully free to use is undoubtedly the key reason behind this. Ads’ only drawback is that, if displayed incorrectly, they can clutter up the user interface and interfere with the user experience.

It’s clear to your audience that you’re offering them high-quality content for free. All you want in exchange is for them to display your advertisements that may be of interest to them and, therefore, earn you money. It’s important to use caution when incorporating them into your software to prevent unintended consequences.


  • It will be much simpler to attract many users to your app if it is free to use.
  • Apps may be used to gather information on user activity, location, and preferences.
  • Putting up the right adverts might bring in a sizable sum of money (valuable and relevant).
  • E-commerce, entertainment, news, and gaming applications all benefit from using this mobile app monetization method. 
  • Third-party, incentivized, and native advertising are the three types of advertisements you may use.
  • If you already have advertising plugins in place, your app should be able to work with them.


  • When adverts get in the way of the app’s functionality, users will uninstall it.
  • It is impossible to get a good return on investment from advertising wholly unrelated to your product or service.
  • Ads may necessitate a redesign of certain areas of the app.
  • It is unsuitable for business applications that need users to maintain a laser-like focus on the content at hand.


In-app advertising would be a major boon to news applications. Publishers may still generate money by showing appropriate advertising throughout the experience while still delivering the day’s stories to viewers in their entirety. CNN is an example of a mobile app monetization approach that utilizes in-app advertising. From the very beginning, you’ll see three distinct types of advertisements.

3. Paid Downloads

Whenever a user downloads your app, they pay a one-time, non-refundable fee. Consequently, the more you charge for a premium download, the more money you make. When pricing something, you must be mindful about how much you charge for what you offer.


  • The more people use the app, the more money you’ll make.
  • Be able to estimate the value of each user.
  • Because they’ve made an initial financial commitment, people are more likely to stick with and use an app they’ve paid for.


  • There is a lot of competition from free applications.
  • Google and Apple both take a significant percentage of your revenues.
  • With the pay-to-play barrier, it may be tough to attract users.
  • The bar has been raised. Therefore, quality, performance, and security must be constantly monitored and maintained to meet or exceed these higher expectations.


One of the most popular paid applications in the Apple’s App Store is Facetune. It’s not difficult to grasp the gist of this idea. To put it another way, it’s like having the power of Photoshop in the palm of your hand, allowing you to take picture-perfect selfies. Most digital editing software costs a lot more money. As a result of its design for mobile devices, it is more user-friendly than previous versions. There’s a good reason why this premium software outperforms free alternatives.

Mobile App Monetization - Paid Downloads
Paid Mobile Apps Can Come in Different Price Categories.

4. In-App Subscriptions

In-App Subscriptions, often known as freemium content, are similar to in-app purchases in that paying money allows users to access new aspects of the app experience. It’s worth noting, though, that most in-app purchases tend to be items, events, or content that are perceived as perks or incentives. They are not dependent on progressing through the app or being able to experience the whole of it.

On the other hand, in-app subscriptions provide customers with a stripped-down version of the app. For those who want to “unlock” the rest of the experience, paid premium upgrades are available. In the case of mobile applications, this often comes in the form of subscription-based content. Your mobile app may also offer subscriptions that eliminate all traces of advertising.


  • Perfect for news and blog sites with a steady following.
  • As a “try-before-you-buy” option, it’s simple to attract new consumers to your product.
  • You may offer subscriptions for in-app content outside of the app store to boost income. Logging in is required for premium members. 
  • Rather than relying on one-time sales, subscriptions provide ongoing income.


  • In-app subscriptions sold via the app store enable Apple and Google to keep a significant portion of the revenue.
  • Fresh, relevant content will be necessary to keep it updated.
  • Make sure there’s a balance between the free and paid versions. While you want them to upgrade, you don’t want to turn them off completely.


According to a 2018 report by Reuters Digital News, subscribers are the most effective mobile app monetization strategy for news applications.

Mobile app monetization best practices

1. It’s all about the experience

The user experience must be preserved at all costs. You’ll do more harm to your app’s revenue if you ruin the user experience.

2. Keep bringing in new users

Your mobile app’s monetization will only grow if you continue to invest in new users. Do not let off of the gas pedal at this point! User churn is an unavoidable part of every app business. To increase monetization, you’ll need to seek out new customers proactively.

3. The use of hybrid mobile app monetization

Multiple mobile app monetization approaches are perfectly acceptable. It’s a great idea. It is possible to use many types of app monetization at the same time. Make sure that you’re not doing too much that will adversely affect the user experience.

4. Keep up to date

Keep an eye out for policy updates from the main app platforms. This is critical since it might have a major impact on your plan in a matter of hours.

5. Your app is unique

Assuming that something has worked for another developer is a risky assumption to make. Every app is different. What works for one mobile app doesn’t always work for another.

Treinetic’s thoughts on these trends

Developers will reap the benefits of the app economy, with income from mobile app monetization expected to increase in general over the next few years. Even though premium applications were once the most popular, free applications have already overtaken them as the new norm. Developers will be able to generate more income over a longer period as a result of this.

Developers will increasingly have to use hybrid mobile monetization techniques. There should be no one-size-fits-all approach to app monetization. A more stable strategy is to spread revenue generation among multiple strategies, especially in a market that might change fast. Why? Because app users’ preferences change often.

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