Monetization Strategies For Web Applications

  • Netflix generated a total revenue of more than 3.9 billion US dollars in the first quarter of 2018.
  • Statista claims that the famous gaming app, Pokemon Go is likely to generate 70 million US dollars in revenue in 2020.
  • Facebook’s revenue made a growth spurt from 7.87 billion in 2013 to 40.7 billion US dollars in 2017

How do these apps make money?

The simple answer is that they generate revenue through clever monetization strategies. The sad part is that not every app can generate a decent revenue in the first few months, and some merely die away without even creating any sort of spark. Even so, it is not easy for apps to gain traction and generate profit, you need to have a proper strategy that doesn’t falter.

True, each app is unique in its own way, so while planning the monetisation strategy, you need to consider whether it would work with your app as well.

Here are some strategies that you can consider:

  • Pay per download option is the best

If you are sure of getting loyal customers through your app then you can most definitely set a price for it. Once you are ready to market your apps in Google Play and App Store, you can set a price for downloading. Once a user downloads your app, you start getting revenue for it.

Initially, people might be reluctant to download something they haven’t tried before, but, if you have already established a name for yourself, then it wouldn’t be difficult at all. In fact, people would be more willing to buy, because they have the knowledge that you deliver a quality product.

If there are hundreds of competitive apps in the same genre, then you might have to come up with a strong marketing plan. You can choose this monetisation strategy if you are sure that you have something unique to provide to your customers. That would be your USP. You can plan your USP by doing an analysis of competitive apps, and providing something that the others don’t.

  • Freemium apps are equally important

If you are a new entrant or is trying your hand in a new genre of app, then it would be a good idea to start with a free model. Once you create a solid user base with your app, you have a good fan following. Next, you can encourage your users to upgrade to the premium model.

Freemium apps can be a good strategy for monetisation because you can send download links to all your visitors with attractive marketing content. If they like reading the reviews, they will definitely click on the link, and download your app. This is what Amazon Prime does. They offer a lot of free content along with the paid ones. So if a user wants to see more, he can just upgrade to a premium version.

  • Virtual Currency is definitely a new trend

This money making strategy can be widely seen in immersive gaming apps. By drawing the users to play games, you can get them to download more apps, and even unlock certain features that are open only to paid users. If you win in the games, there are apps that pay in virtual currency; some apps have special advertising offers that encourage people to win. People who get this virtual currency will then be able to unseal the advantages.

  • Placing local ads strategically

Users hate ads when they start playing, interrupting their usage of the app. This prompts them to close the ad and stop using the app, leading to ‘uninstall’. Too many apps can disrupt app performance.

While placing native ads is one of the best methods for app monetisation, you need to make sure that it provides only least interruption to the user. You can smartly place it among the other app elements. And make sure the running of the ad doesn’t affect the app performance.

You can choose this monetisation strategy and still keep your app free for download. If you are placing the ads responsive to the users needs and requirements, then the success rate will be really high. For example, if you run a baby store with baby products, you cannot run an ad for motorised wheelchair. That wouldn’t bring in the desired responses.

  • Affiliate marketing and incentives

How about getting paid when other product owners place their ads on your app? You are allowing other brands to executer their monetisation strategy by placing ads in your app.So the advertisers can place their ads on your app and once a solid lead generates from it, you earn an incentive. This is more effectively seen in gaming apps where players click on them to redeem points, vital currencies and similar benefits.

  • Subscription

Of course, Subscription is one of the best strategies to generate revenue for your app. It is almost like the freemium model, but the only difference is that instead of prompting the user to download the app, you are encouraging them to subscribe for more content. You can provide well-written content in a limited manner, so the user will be prompted to subscribe to your website to learn more. However, remember Subscription strategy needs the payment strategy to be low, to help motivate the user.

You can choose this strategy when your app is content-driven, like news app, entertainment and celebrity app, video app etc. Some app owners place a hierarchical model starting from lowest payment structure to increasing the pay as more features are unlocked.


These are just a few, but highly successful ways in which you can promote your app and generate revenue. Apart from the above mentioned methods, you can also trying partnering with another app selling a product that’s complementary to yours. This would help the apps promote each other. It is not mandatory that you need to partner with any highly successful app.

Creating a big user base and introducing in-app purchase can never go wrong. Whether you have a gaming app or a product app, it is the revenue that matters and there is a direct relationship between number of users and sales revenue.

Interesting Articles:
How to Monetize Mobile Apps?
How to Pick the Right Strategy For Monetization.

Pictures: GotCredit/ Josh MacDonald

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The author: Reema Oamkumar is engaged as a thought leader at which is a part of the YUHIRO Group. YUHIRO is a German-Indian enterprise which provides programmers to IT companies, agencies and IT departments.

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