How to Make Money from Your Mobile App

Nobody builds apps just for fun, we ultimately expect some sort of return in the form of users, engagement and direct or indirect monetary benefits eventually. With so many options available, with the right strategy, one can earn money or make thousand and even millions of dollars.

There are broadly three types of popular mobile app monetization models available that you can choose from:


This is the most popular method in the apps stores where user gets a basic version of the app free and then in-order to access premium version he has to pay a certain amount on usage basis. It generally offers a free basic version to its consumers and let them buy additional features or premium version with advanced features for a fixed price or a monthly subscription once they’re hooked and find value in it.

Paid download

These apps can be downloaded on a one-time fixed cost. New features and regular updates in these apps are generally comes free. However, in order to make a user pay straight away for download, the app really need to be compelling and must give real value for money to its user.

Free app with ads

This is another way to generate revenue where user does not pay anything for download or regular usage instead app owner receives money from the ad network directly. Depending on your app category, the advertisers you associate yourself with could pay you a considerable chunk of amount to host their ads.

In 2016, the global mobile app revenue was 76.8 Billion US Dollars and in 2020 the global mobile app revenue is predicted to generate 188.9 billion US Dollars. -Statista

As on March 2017, the total number of Android and iOS mobile apps in the market was over 5 million. And 80% of internet uses owns smartphones in the world. With such impressive data, it wouldn’t be incorrect in saying that more and more startup and business owner will be running after the mobile apps going forward. There has been substantial growth in mobile app market with continuous change in technology whether it is Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things (IoT), Virtual Reality, Blockchain or Cryptocurrency.

How Much Money an App Can Earn?

Here are some of the key findings which you can look at and develop your mobile app monetization strategy accordingly:

Which Mobile App Platform Generate More Money?

You have an Idea? You need a mobile app for your idea? The first question that comes to your mind is – which platform to choose? Due to difference in platform market penetration, there will be difference in mobile app earning on Android and iOS platform. So depending upon your market OS penetration, target audience profiling and your app category, you can choose the platform.

Here is a quick app revenue insight below to give you an idea:

According to a recent study, an average Android mobile app generates $9000 USD per month whereas an iOS mobile app earns $6000 USD per month.

Window and blackberry doesn’t have that much market penetration as compare to Android and iOS platforms. So it is better to go with either Android or iOS.

Which App category generates more revenue?

Mobile gaming apps are the clear winner, with about 45% of the total revenue coming from these apps on app stores. The estimated global earning from mobile app in 2017 is counted to be 76.8 billion USD. Out of which 57% of mobile app earning comes from gaming apps.

Here are some of the other top mobile App categories you can choose from:

  • Personalization Apps
  • News Media App
  • M-Commerce App
  • Healthcare Fitness App
  • On-Demand Mobile app
  • Social Media App

How much you can earn from subscription based Apps?

In the third quarter of 2017, the subscription users of NetFix App is 109.25 million and with more that 5 million subscription users on HBO Now. So it would be great to introduce subscription based model for your app. Tinder is a good example of in-app purchase too. You can download Tinder Mobile App fee, but the app makes money from some of its exclusive paid features like unlimited swipes, profile booster etc. Tinder generated $257.6 million USD in 2016 making it the highest earning app in the world.

In the end

You need to refine your app monetization strategy in-line with your business objective, your target market and audience. The mere existence of your app in app store can make some serious money for you by simply expanding the ways your users find and interact with your app. Whatever strategy you choose just monitor customer data and keep upgrading your app.