App Monetization 101: How to Build a Sustainable Revenue Stream


App Monetization 101: How to Build a Sustainable Revenue Stream

In a aggressive cell app market, it takes actual effort and time to grasp fast, sustainable income era and revenue progress.

Maximizing income means constantly testing, adjusting, and enhancing your monetization technique – and you will need to do it whereas nonetheless delivering the absolute best app on your customers. So, how will your app succeed? First, let’s have a look at what you are up towards.

4 key developer challenges

Finding the precise customers – You need to entice customers to generate income, however not simply any consumer. They have to be high-value customers that may constantly interact along with your app.

Gaining higher visibility into consumer expertise – You need to perceive your customers’ conduct so you may keep long-term retention and frequently monetize that present consumer base.

Moving rapidly whereas testing – You want to take a look at rapidly and effectively to assist remove lengthy QA processes.

Removing inefficiencies – You need to automate as a lot as potential, and decrease time spent manually optimizing waterfalls to achieve a small income improve.

Finding constant progress and profitability begins with understanding monetization fashions.

Monetization fashions

Let’s take a take a look at the varied monetization fashions to higher perceive them and decide which one may be best for you.

In-app promoting

In-app promoting successfully makes your app free for customers who want to obtain and use it. In this mannequin, the objective is to purchase a giant consumer base, acquire information from it, and filter and promote that information to publishers who will serve related, significant advertisements to that very same consumer base. Developers earn income every time a consumer clicks on an advert or installs the app that’s being marketed.

Over time, in-app advertisements have change into extra subtle and intuitive. Some embody animations and movies, whereas others present an much more participating interactive expertise. Playable advertisements are a nice instance of this – they permit customers to attempt a recreation or app earlier than downloading it.

In-app advertisements earn extra engagement as a result of they combine seamlessly with the app. For instance, in a cell recreation you possibly can serve an interstitial advert that seems in between ranges. Or, it’s also possible to supply a rewarded video that offers customers the choice to interact with the advert in change for a reward, similar to additional lives or in-game foreign money.

Whichever advert format you select, additionally it is vital to observe warning with how typically these sorts of advertisements shall be served to your customers, as too many immersion-breaking moments could lead on to app abandonment. Learn extra concerning the totally different sorts of advert codecs.

In-app purchases

Sometimes known as the “freemium” mannequin, promoting options, performance, new experiences (in a recreation), or different ‘premium’ content material known as in-app buy (IAP) monetization. In this mannequin, the app consumer pays real-world cash to unlock further options, i.e. additional weapons, time, ranges, or beauty objects in a recreation. Free to obtain apps generally use in-app purchases to monetize their consumer base.

Prompts to buy objects are sometimes proven when a consumer wants assist. For a recreation, in-app purchases are usually designed to make it sooner/simpler to advance within the recreation. They might be an vital income for publishers, however balancing IAP is important. If a recreation feels prefer it’s too arduous (or inconceivable) to advance with out spending cash, then you definately’re extra seemingly to lose a consumer than to get income from one.

Many video games and most relationship apps are monetized by way of IAP, offering upgraded options for a one-time buy – or typically, a subscription (see beneath).


Also typically known as a paywall app, a subscription monetization mannequin requires customers to pay a month-to-month or yearly payment to use the app or unlock premium options.

Subscription apps rely closely on buyer retention, which suggests they want to proceed providing new methods for customers to interact with their app and repair. This kind of mannequin usually works greatest in sure verticals, like well being and health, information, or relationship.

Paid app

This monetization mannequin is easy: customers make an instantaneous, one-time cost to obtain and use the app. Or, the app may be accessible as a trial to begin, giving customers the chance to attempt the app for a restricted time earlier than paying for it.

The upside to paid apps is greater income per obtain – however with so many free apps accessible, competitors is very fierce. 96 % of Google Play apps are free and 92 % of Apple Store apps are free, so paid apps should supply distinctive worth, options, and/or distinctive performance that may in any other case be tough to discover in a free app.

Hybrid monetization

Today, many builders use a hybrid monetization method to earn money, utilizing two or extra of the monetization strategies talked about above. Hybrid monetization offers your target market extra methods to interact – in-app purchases, advertisements, and extra – which may help you develop income streams to construct sustainability and in the end assist enhance and maximize lifetime worth (LTV) – and reap greater earnings.

Watch our brief video that explains extra on what this method entails:

How to select the precise monetization resolution

Now that you just perceive basic app monetization fashions, let’s discuss among the options and instruments in a monetization resolution that may assist simplify your day-to-day work whereas additionally offering incremental enhancements to optimize your monetization additional.

The following options that assist drive constructive change and maximize progress:

Ad transparency – Knowing which advertisements are changing, which advertisements want enchancment, and why that may be the case may help you frequently optimize your advertisements for higher returns. For instance, MAX’s Ad Review exhibits you which of them advertisements customers see in your apps, and gives full management over the advertisements which can be being proven – supplying you with perception into top-performing creatives and serving to you higher perceive what’s working and what is not.

A/B testing – A/B checks show one iteration of your app towards one other to offer you helpful insights into consumer conduct and the way/why they’re changing whereas analyzing your app’s efficiency. Refer to 3 Solid Tests for A/B Testing for extra about how to increase income with A/B testing.

Automation – Through automation, you may cut back handbook work, which permits your crew to effectively handle its sources.

Accurate analytics – Data is a essential instrument to cut back guesswork to measure the success and effectiveness of your campaigns. The most complete information potential shall be discovered in your chosen analytics platform.

Monetization in motion

Prepare dinnerApps, a studio based mostly in Seoul, Korea, wanted a higher means to monetize their portfolio of 140 apps. The crew needed to enhance their promoting income, and after implementing AppLovin’s software program options, they achieved an 800 % income improve throughout all 140 of their apps.

In addition, they saved time-having 140 video games means there are over 8,000 line objects to handle on their mediation platforms. AppLovin’s in-app bidder, MAX, helped them cut back their handbook workload and automate the method. This additionally offered extra time for the crew to effectively handle their A/B checks, which allowed them to optimize their monetization stack.

Watch our on-demand webinar about maximizing your LTV by automating handbook work so you may concentrate on constructing, testing, and launching nice video games.

Start enhancing your monetization now

There are many various methods to monetize and develop your app. AppLovin gives a 360-degree method to scale your corporation by way of our Growth Suite. Our complete software program options allow builders to:

Get their apps found and downloaded by the precise customers

Optimize return on advertising and marketing spend

Maximize income with in-app bidding

Our software program’s suggestion engine – AXON – makes use of machine studying to match you with related customers which can be probably to obtain and have interaction along with your app. AppDiscovery helps discover the precise customers at scale, and seamlessly integrates with our in-app bidding resolution, MAX.

AppLovin’s in-house inventive crew, SparkLabs, delivers top-performing creatives to additional develop and help your UA efforts.

Combine these options to positively impression your backside line and get began with AppLovin as we speak.


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