Often, when people get an app idea they go ahead and start coding, or they hire a programmer to build their app without iOS App Monetization in mind. iOS App Monetization put simply is how you are going to make money from your newly built app. Additionally, there are cases of iOS developers that have existing apps that are getting a lot of downloads or impressions in App Store Connect Analytics, but they are not able to convert this traffic into much deserved revenue.
Congratulations, you built your first app! Now, how will you make money from this new app? Was the idea for this app decided on the fly? Did you just feel that the idea was right and that this app was simply going to be awesome? If so, you found out the hard way that it is no longer that easy to “make it" in the App Store. Did you do the proper niche and competition research before building this app that is now getting very little downloads?
This is a question that all iOS developers should be asking themselves. After the proper niche and competition research is conducted, now, how will you monetize this app? Below are the usual methods of monetization with freemium based monetization being the most common.
These are apps that are free and typically use ad networks for monetization. Additionally, there are some other methods of monetization. These other methods of monetization have come to light recently with the Facebook privacy scandal. The fact is free apps without any ad networks are monetizing the customers in some manner. One method is by tracking the user’s location (these days by “opt in") and selling this data to ad networks, social networks, etc. Our guess is that free apps without ads need heavy traffic to utilize such data mining monetization methods.
Oh how wonderful the good ole days were when you could simply make a paid app, sit back, and enjoy the passive income! Unfortunately, this is no longer the case. Typically (but not always), paid apps do not do so well in the App Store in 2019. It is much more difficult to get paid app conversions since most apps use free, or freemium based monetization strategies.
Another app monetization method that seems to slowly disappear is having a Free and Paid version. We had a setup like this when we started back in 2013. The way that we monetized this setup was by installing ads in the Free version with a button on the main screen that was an upgrade option. Once the users pressed this button, they were sent to the Paid app link in the App Store. Fortunately, at the time this strategy worked quite well for us. Having said that, Apple has changed many of its App Review Guidelines since 2013. There are no direct warnings in the guidelines stating “Thall shall not have Free and Paid setup!" Yet, they seem to presently frown on this idea by rejecting the setup and recommending a free app with in app purchases. This brings us to the next method of monetization!
As stated above, apps that use the freemium based monetization model are free apps with in app purchases. At times these apps have ads and an option to upgrade and unlock all the features. Typically utility apps use this method. For games rather, there are an endless amount of in app purchases that can be coded in the app that are both consumable IAP (coins, for example) and non-consumable (full unlock, etc.) IAP. This method of app monetization is what Apple tends to recommend most.
You guessed it! Paymium apps are apps that simply utilize the same monetization method as freemium apps, yet, the users must purchase the app first as a paid app. The best way to think of this monetization method is an entrance fee (initial payment in the app store) for a nightclub. You have to pay to get into a nightclub, and most of us end up spending much more (in app purchases) in the nightclub after paying for this entrance fee.
Subscription based iOS apps use subscription services. Pretty much any app can utilize this monetization strategy. We have not yet tried out subscriptions but, we have been seriously thinking about it. In many ways, it can be rewarding for both developers and users. Rather than developers be forced to consistently add content and update according to Apple’s constant demands with other subscription methods, it makes sense for developers to charge a subscription fee to keep apps up to date.
This is also a monetization method that we are very interested in. There are many examples in the Shopping Category in the App Store. However, there are many other ways to earn from eccommerce with apps. Obviously, an app for an existing ecommerce site would surely help with traffic and exposure. Yet, we have also seen other creative ecommerce methods used in apps such as selling T-shirts from text on photo type applications. To be sure there are other methods to use ecommerce in apps that have not even been dreamed of yet!