Creating Android apps can be a very lucrative venture, as long as you go about it the right way. Some people like to build their app first and then think about how to monetize it. Others will start thinking about it halfway through the build. We suggest you take a different approach.
If you want to maximize the success of your application as well as the earnings potential, you need to start thinking of ways you can monetize it right now, before you’ve even started building your app. If you know from the get-go how you’ll make money from your application, you can more effectively build everything around that.
If you’re a seasoned app developer, you probably already know the monetization options available to you. If you aren’t an Android app developer but you want to create an Android app, well, here are a few things you should know about monetizing an app.
Adding advertisements in the app is one of the most common approaches to monetization. There are pros and cons to this, but advertising is one of the major streams of income for Android app developers. The Android user base, in general, would much rather play a free game or use a free app with the knowledge it will contain ads. There are many different ad networks and several different types of ads you can consider:
- Banner Ads: These will usually sit at the bottom of the screen and can either generate income from impressions or clicks. They can be a great way of earning an income from your apps, but keep in mind that you will need a lot of users to see a high return from them.
- Interstitials: These are ads that will pop up from time to time. They usually complement the app itself by promoting similar apps or games. This is great as it targets a user base that is already interested in the promoted product (they’re using your app, after all). You’ll earn money for every user who clicks and then subsequently downloads the advertised application. This can be very profitable.
- Video Ads: Similar to interstitials, you can have these pop up at a certain interval or period of the app. If the user watches the ad, you earn money. It’s really that simple.
No matter how good your app is, if the user is bombarded with ad after ad, they will uninstall and you will get negative feedback. You should make them appear at certain points, such as a game-over screen, after a certain action has been completed, etc. Don’t be intrusive with your ads, or they will ruin your prospects of earning money.
Many Android app developers choose to include at least one in-app purchase: the option to remove ads. In fact, a “Remove Ads” option is one of the most popular in-app purchases to include. Anyone who enjoys using your app will happily part with a mere 99 cents or $1.99 (or whatever price you set) in order to experience your app without the intrusion of ads. On top of that, you can offer special items or benefits within the app itself through in-app purchases. If you have made an endless runner game, then you could offer certain power-ups or characters that can be purchased. In-app purchases can be very lucrative if you have the right user base.
The “freemium” model is basically a gold mine. It’s growing in popularity every year and is a strong contender for one of the best monetization strategies to consider. The basic concept is that you offer your app for free, but additional features are available for a fee within the app. Make sure you implement it carefully, though, as a lot of users are annoyed when games they enjoy suddenly feel like a “pay to play” experience. If it’s a game you have created, then make the game winnable without having to spend money. However, payments could be used to make the experience better or easier in some way. Some games include built-in pauses, such as needing to wait for energy to recharge before being able to continue. Some users will wait, but others will happily pay for an instant recharge feature.
Lastly, we have the subscription model. Subscription-based apps are severely underrated and can offer you a solid stream of income that is more or less guaranteed every month. Let’s say you’re launching a workout or exercise application. Certain aspects and exercises can be available to everyone, but with a monthly subscription, they could unlock a wealth of new information and routines, and get access to a personal trainer for advice now and again. Or you could offer a free trial of your game or app and for anyone that wants to continue playing, it’ll cost a certain amount per month. If you market it right and have something very high quality to offer people, you can earn a lot of money.
Now that you have an idea of the main monetization techniques available, you can begin to implement them into your app. Hopefully, you also understand the importance of choosing a monetization strategy ahead of time. If you built your entire application only to decide you wanted to offer freemium content, you would need to rework a lot of the existing code, and in some cases, start over from scratch.
Choose the best monetization strategy for you and your app and go make some money!
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