How to monetize mobile apps?

Anton Mali
4 min read
How to monetize mobile apps?

The mobile application industry is growing at a breakneck pace. In 2020 alone, customers had already made around 218 billion app downloads. And this number will continue to rise year after year. However, creating popular mobile apps is just half of the story.

Mobile app development is, first and foremost, aimed to help businesses make profit. Global income from mobile applications will reach $808.7 billion in 2022, according to Statista. It’s a significant jump compared to $693 billion in 2021.

But how successful apps become such and what monetization techniques they use? We’ll discuss it in the article.

How to Monetize Mobile Apps

Monetize Mobile Apps

Businesses can make money even on free applications. For instance, one of the most prominent categories in the mobile app market iste entertainment, which includes games. When users download and play a free game, they bring its developer significant earnings. And it’s all because the game’s creators have planned ahead what monetization methods they’ll employ.


There are several basic strategies on how to make money on mobile apps. You can use one monetization plan or combine several of them. You may either make a paid app right away or launch a free version with paid features. There are enough options to choose from.

How to Make Money on Mobile Apps?

Once you’ve decided to create mobile apps, you’ll need to figure out not just what kind of users you aim to attract but also how you’ll make money from them. Even in the early stages of development, you should consider how to monetize your mobile app.

The major strategies to monetize mobile apps include:

  • in-app advertisements;
  • in-app purchases;
  • freemium;
  • premium;
  • subscription.

Let’s take a closer look at each of these approaches.

1. In-App Advertisements

In-App Advertisements

It is one of the best ways to monetize mobile apps. Why is this method so popular? Selling paid applications may be a challenging task. But monetizing free ones through built-in advertising is way simpler. You don’t need to persuade users to buy your app—instead, you let them watch some ads and navigate through your app for free. Besides, there are numerous types of advertisement: banners, interstitial, video, interactive, native ads, and even more. This is, for example, how mobile restaurant apps can get their money—by offering advertising options to restaurants.

2. In-App Purchases

In-app purchases account for nearly half of all revenue generated by mobile apps. This approach to monetization involves real or virtual purchases within the application. It’s most commonly seen in mobile games where players may buy extra items. This earnings model, however, is appropriate for almost any app category. It is already used in e-commerce, photography, health & fitness, lifestyle applications, etc. For example, in the e-commerce app, the user can purchase gift vouchers for friends, and in the photography app – buy filters or presets for advanced photo editing.

3. Freemium

The freemium model provides a minimal set of free features, while the advanced functionality is accessible at an additional cost. If users enjoy your app’s free version and you make it clear about how extra features can be helpful, they are likely to purchase the full version.

4. Premium

method of monetization

It is, in a nutshell, a paid application. According to Statista, the market share of such apps is only 6.4% for iOS and only 3.1% for Android. It is the most transparent method of monetization but also the most complex. If you choose this earning strategy, you must ensure that the user is interested in buying your product. You may profit from premium applications by demonstrating their exceptional features and giving an outstanding experience to potential customers.

Typically, applications for productivity, health & fitness employ this method of monetization. It may be a customized to-do list, a handy calendar, or a fitness app that enables the most personalized training experience.

5. Subscription

This approach to monetization is similar to freemium, but instead of the additional functionality of the application, subscription usually offers access to premium content. It works on a weekly, monthly, or yearly basis, and users make regular payments to continue enjoying the app’s content.

The MindZip project, for which TRIARE has built a whole ecosystem, including a mobile app, uses subscription for monetization. The application’s primary goal is to strengthen knowledge through frequent repetition. By purchasing a subscription, users may unlock premium collections on a variety of topics.


As you can see, there are many ways to make money on mobile applications. We have listed only the basic approaches to monetization. In reality, mobile app developers can combine tools that help profit from applications following the needs and goals of your business.

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Anton Mali