Today, I want to talk to you about the best way to make money with apps in 2017. This is a very popular topic among anyone getting in the app business because this is how you’re going to make your return.
I want to talk about what’s hot right now, what is working right now. And there’s a few things that are working and a few things that aren’t working really as well as they used to.
Advertisements is when you show a pop-up for somebody else’s app and then you get paid every time that you show that pop-up. Advertisements still work. They work just as well as they do on the web, but they can go up and down based on the ad network.
You have to show advertisements through an ad network, and so you don’t really have a lot of control over who the advertiser is, and how much they’re going to spend on a given day. So ads can work, but it really comes down to how much money the advertisers are spending that month.
Ads can be a very lucrative source of revenue for you. It can be a very quick and fast way to make money. But you have to have a lot of downloads, thousands and thousands of it, to make advertising work.
2. Create more in-app purchases for your users.
What happens with most people is they put in a few in-app purchases into their app and no one buys it. And they’re like: “Well, this app doesn’t convert, there’s no way I can make my money on this.” And they just forget about it, and go back to advertisements.
But you don’t just put in-app purchases in your app. You have to sell your in-app purchases. What you have to realize is that the way that the world works in 2017 for the app business is you have to market to people. You have to put your app in front of them and say: “Hey listen, here’s the product that we’re selling, make sure to check this out.” So every time that they go through the app, you need to make sure that they know that it’s available, and that it’s easy to buy.
So, in-app purchases are actually becoming a very viable source of revenue for people, but you have to sell it to your users. You can’t expect your users to go searching around and pick through every single menu and try to find it.
And not only do you need to sell it, you need to consistently add more and more in-app purchases to your app. If you want to make more money, you need to just have more things that people can buy. And then you sell it to them, you present it to them in the app.
3. Subscription model
This one has the most potential. Apps like Spotify and Pandora have subscriptions. Meaning, you sign-up and say: “Hey, for two dollars every week, or for 10 dollars every month you’re going to keep this app and you get all the premium access to the products.”
This is the future of App Monetization. The most successful apps will focus on subscriptions. It is a winning and proven business model and not a lot of people are doing it.
Now, Apple specifically has a few guidelines on what kind of apps can use subscriptions, but as long as you just put a lot of content into your app, or even stream content in, like if you have a YouTube channel, you can just show those videos directly in your app and put a gate on it.
Adding a subscription and giving people access to premium parts of your app is the best way to make money with a really good app over the next 12 months.
For this model to work, you have to have a great product. You can’t sell crap, you can’t sell garbage to people and expect them to sign up for a subscription. If you do have a great app though, make it a subscription and get people to sign up for this subscription, and then continuously deliver on what you promise.
So, if you’re thinking about getting into the app business, or if you are in the app business and you’re wondering “How do I make money?” look at these three types of monetization.
The first is Advertising. It’s easy, but you’ve got to have a huge amount of volume, you got to have the right type of App—usually a game, or a casino game really for that to be a big winner for you.
The second is in-app purchases. With in-app purchases, make sure that you are selling the in-app purchases, you’re presenting it to people, and you are consistently adding more things people will buy.
And finally, add a subscription to your app. The subscription is: “You’re inside the app, here’s a pay wall, there’s a subscription, and on the other side is all these premium content. Make that a subscription and you will see something really, really amazing happen to your revenue reports as you go through the year.
Wow informative. I still wish to receive more of your emails pertaining to the subject of apps. Thank you very much, well appreciated
Great, very timely info, just what i have been combing the net for. Many thanks Carter.
I guess that many companies mix all three strategies – buying a premium version is an in-app purchase (or isn’t it? is it?), it can get rid of the ads, no one likes them anyway, and it’s a subscription after all. Am I correct?
We’ve been experimenting with switching a lot of our apps over from the standard freemium model to the subscription model. Recurring payments are a pretty cool thing. So far, this has boosted our gross income a little. Better than 1-time purchases. Also Apple lets you give a free trial…and then the user automatically gets on subscription after that. Conversion has been almost 100% on free trial to paid.
Thanks a Zillion
@Cliff – you are welcome a zillion