Do free Android apps make money? Of course, they do! How do they accomplish it when they are free? Well, there are quite a few ways!
We all know that free apps are leaps and bounds ahead of paid apps in terms of downloads and usage. Who doesn’t love free stuff? But, if all apps are free, how will developers make a living? Let’s find out:
Pretty much every free app comes loaded with advertisements. This is a part of affiliate marketing, and the developer generates money through the number of clicks on the advertisement.
App developers may choose from video ads, pop-up ads, banner ads, and native ads. Banner ads were popular for a very long time, but it feels like video ads are taking over, especially because many apps give you an extra chance, more coins/gems, etc. if you watch a video. Users also do not mind choosing the option because it gives them a reward in return for watching a 30-second video. Some developers go overboard by adding too many ads at every step. When you do this, you encourage the user to delete the app no matter how amazing the content may be. Advertisements must be strategic and non-intrusive to keep users interested.
Apps also offer the option of paying a small fee to get rid of the ads. When the user chooses this, revenue is in the bank, and the user enjoys an ad-free experience. This is a win-win for everyone!
Many people are reluctant to purchase an app upfront, especially when they do not know whether it is worth it. So, offering an app for free and then unlocking a premium membership is a commonly used strategy.
Premium members have access to more features. Once a user gets used to the app and enjoys using it, he will not be as reluctant to make a purchase.
Another similar strategy is offering in-app purchases. Using the app is free but to unlock a few items or tools, a small fee may be charged.
We have seen quite a few apps selling merchandise in a bid to make revenue. Once the app gets popular, this actually starts working wonders. You can either choose email marketing or the app itself to sell the products.
Amazon has an amazing platform named Merch to help you execute this. Do check it out!
Offering content for free and then charging some amount for subscriptions has worked well for many apps on Android and iOS alike. During the initial months, you may offer all the features to the users for free and then require a subscription to continue the access. Subscriptions feed off habit because once users get used to certain features, they will want to continue using them.
Subscriptions are among the top revenue grossing methods for app developers.
Powerful but not really used much, email marketing also works wonders when it comes to making money. Collecting email IDs during sign up can help you make an email list that you can target for various promotions, etc.
Email marketing, in our opinion, works better when combined with one of the aforementioned strategies. It is a great way to retain app users and to encourage them to come back to using the app. This, in turn, will help you implement the other strategies that can directly generate revenue.
Even though they are not widely used, sponsorships can help developers make money. You can strike partnerships with companies that will mutually benefit from the deal and publicize your app through them. This only works when the target audience of the sponsor is similar to yours. So, be careful with that!
There are a few other ways in which Android apps make money, but these are the most popular of the lot. Do you know of any other ways or do you use any other ways that we should include in this list? Do tell us!