How Apps Make Money: What You Need to Know

Apps Make Money

As smartphones and other mobile devices become increasingly ubiquitous with each passing year, it’s become very apparent that releasing an app can be a very profitable move for businesses in virtually every industry. For instance, if you ran a brick-and-mortar retail shop, you could partner with Ecommerce app development specialists to create an app version of your store, significantly boosting sales as a result.

That’s just one example. There are actually many ways businesses can monetize apps. Understanding them will help you better understand how your organization could benefit from creating an app for your customer base.

Monetization models you should be familiar with include:

Charging Users

Perhaps the simplest way to monetize an app is to charge users a fee to download it. This can be enticing to some users if the fee is merely a one-time charge. If the apps make money appears to offer genuine value, and the price seems reasonable, your customers may be happy to pay for it.

Premium Features

Although the model described above can yield profits, it’s worth noting that most apps are free. That means users typically don’t expect to have to pay to download an app. Thus, depending on the nature of your app, it may be difficult to convince potential users to buy it.

However, you can strike a balance by allowing users to download a free version of your app with an option to upgrade to a paid version with premium features. This helps you overcome the initial barrier of attracting users. If the free version of the app is valuable to them, users may decide to upgrade.


Apps are like websites and publications: if they’re popular, companies will pay their owners to advertise through them. 

This is another monetization model to consider. You can also give users the option of paying a one-time fee to upgrade to an ad-free version if they choose. This ensures you’re making money regardless. Of course, you need to release an app that will attract enough users to get the attention of advertisers if you choose to go this route.


Some particularly valuable apps makes money by charging users monthly or annual fees to subscribe to their premium features. To convince users the subscription fee is reasonable, companies typically offer them 30-day free trials.

These are all options to keep in mind. Just remember, the best monetization strategy for one app may not be ideal for another.

That’s why partnering with experts is crucial. The right team will help you better determine how your app can and should make money.

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