Mobile Monetization: How Free Smartphone Apps Make Money

You probably know about the saying that point out that there is no such thing as a free lunch, so when you are offered something for nothing, like a free app, it would be fair to wonder what’s in it for the company offering you an app that costs no money to download.

As long as the app does what it promises to do, you are unlikely to worry too much about how the company behind the app is going to get some money for their efforts, but in case you are wondering would like to know what’s involved, here is the lowdown on mobile monetization.

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No charge to download

There are plenty of useful apps around that cost nothing to download, with offerings from someone like Apalon Apps being a great example, where you can download their popular live weather app free of charge.

It is a fact that a large majority of the biggest grossing apps all share something in common, which is that they cost nothing to download.

These app creators are creating useful and popular items that are a marketing success in terms of volumes of downloads, but they need to be able to do something in order to be able to recoup their expenses and try and turn a profit.


Not just paid premium options

The obvious assumption when it comes to monetizing an app would be to offer you the basic version as a free download, then offer added features and enhancements if you sign up to a premium version.

This is certainly one way to draw some money out of users, but it is by no means the only revenue-generation option that is deployed.

In-app purchases are another way to generate some income, in order to unlock paid features within an app and give you an enhanced experience. There is also the option of in-app advertising, which generates revenue from click-throughs and impressions.


Building a relationship

There are also more subtle options available which could lead to the app developer making a bigger amount of money from their app further down the road.

If you provide a free app and manage to generate a good base of active users of the app as a result, this can present an opportunity to get to know the audience and the market in greater detail, which could easily create the chance to generate some worthwhile revenue from something other than the app.

Many of the successful monetization strategies that are used on a regular basis, do tend to have the feel and look of a normal app experience, so it shouldn’t detract from your enjoyment or ability to use the free download in a way that you want to.

Whether you are being subjected to a freemium upsell or get asked to accept emails from selected partners associated with the app developer, most of us understand that there is no such thing as a free lunch.

The way many good apps work, it certainly feels like a win/win where you are getting a useful app on your smartphone, without it costing your directly.

Toby Davey runs a tech business from his home and is a pure geek through and through! He shares tips, reviews, how to’s and more in his techy articles.