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Mobile App Monetization: Strategies for App Developers

When you create an application, you mostly hope for two things: to deliver your product to a broad audience and to gain some income.

While it’s quite easy to advertise your apps nowadays, monetizing can become a challenge. Not all developers know how to choose the right mobile app monetization strategy to maximize their revenue.

In this article, we will review several monetization approaches and pick one that perfectly suits your content and audience.

Mobile App Monetization - Strategies for App Developers

App Download Fee

As you decide to publish your application, setting a price for it will probably be the first thing you try to do. Yet, is selling your product with a download fee suitable for your type of application?

While this is a good approach for a unique product that gives users something they can’t find online, it might not be the right choice for you.

If the content in your app is easily accessible on the internet, your potential audience might just find it there, opting out of purchasing your app from the store. If you’re publishing a one-of-a-kind game or a cool software utility, go for the app download fee approach.

In-App Purchases

Regardless of what your product is – a game or a news app – you can still monetize it through fees. Instead of selling the application itself, however, you can sell items inside it. In-app purchases have been one of the most popular approaches to app monetization.

You can sell other products that you’ve released or in-app currency. If your app is a game, let your users buy extra lives, tokens, or special bonuses related to the gaming experience.

SDK Implementation

SDK stands for software development kit and provides software developers with a library of useful codes to build their applications.

Thus, developers don’t have to make their products or add features from scratch. For example, with Honeygain SDK, developers can monetize their mobile applications. There are several other methods:

  • Banner ads. You’ve probably seen banner ads in almost every game and application on your smartphone. These rectangular advertisements can be placed anywhere in the app and will mostly be targeted. Developers are rewarded based on the number of clicks on the banner.
  • Video ads. Video ads are exactly what they sound like – videos that either advertise something in your app or link to another product outside of it.
  • Native ads. Unlike banners and videos, native ads are made to fit seamlessly into your application. They mostly bear the same style and design as your app and blend in perfectly.
  • Ads-games. Gamified advertisements are one of the most engaging since they motivate users to play as a quick break. These are more suitable for game apps, especially if they are in the same genre as the mini-games presented in the ad.
  • Ads-rewards. One more perfect ad model for a game is an ad reward. For example, when a user can’t complete a level in the game, they can watch an ad for an extra life.

The same approach applies to watching ads for other in-game bonuses like tokens, upgrades, and so on. A user will have to complete the whole ad to receive their reward.

  • Interstitial ads. These ads are integrated into the app transitions. So, an interstitial ad will appear when you start a new level in a game or open a video in an app. These ads are skippable.

Subscription Models

Some developers opt for a subscription model to monetize their applications. That means your users will pay you a monthly subscription fee to use your product, which is quite a popular approach among non-gaming content in app stores.

It’s essential to study your potential clients to come up with subscription models. If you’re not sure where to start, opt for only one first.

Then, you can move into three different subscription types. Price them according to how much your users might utilize your app and what benefits they get.


Similarly to the subscription model approach, the freemium one allows developers to combine different strategies in one.

As an example, you can let your users enjoy the app for free but include banner or interstitial ads. If they want to use the app without ads, they have to either purchase a monthly subscription or pay a one-time fee.

That means both types of users bring you income: those who don’t pay a fee watch the advertisements, while others make in-app purchases.

Don’t be upset if you can’t choose the right monetization method for your app right away, as it’s a trial and error for most developers.

It’s vital to understand your audience and your goal to gain returns from your product. So, take your time to make an in-depth analysis of your potential user base and watch your income grow.

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