When developed apps for Android app stores can be highly lucrative ventures for developers, one of the hardest decisions an app developer has to make is how to get the app to pay for itself. Often the “monetization strategy” — shorthand for “how will this app make money?” — is left for last.
It’s hard enough to get discovered by consumers among the millions of already existing apps, not to mention convince people to buy it. People increasingly prefer free, ad-supported apps for their tablets and smartphones, yet many developers still aren’t sure how to tackle the free vs. paid issue. Deciding when to charge for your app, and when to try an ad-supported model, is one of the hardest decisions developers must make.
Developers have several monetization options available
As app markets across platforms explode, developers are talking to each other to determine the best type of monetization model to use. Most will tell you it’s a choice among four major options:
- selling your app in the app store
- offering a free app, with in-app purchases
- offering a free, ad-supported app
- offering a free, subscription-supported app
But the choice really boils down to two strategies: getting paid by users or getting paid by advertisers.