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Every business has its own app! The reason is simple; it is the need of the hour. Talking about the download numbers and revenue earned, free mobile apps generally outnumbered all the paid apps. Most of you must have thought that how these apps make money? Before answering that question, I would like to put some light on the mounting requirement of app development.

In spite of the fact that the percentage of paid application revenues has decreased in a huge manner, the app development market is still growing exponentially. Just look at the below-mentioned graph that clearly showcases the increasing demand for mobile apps. As per the experts that anticipate that this global mobile app revenue will get double between 2016 and 2020.

Therefore, if you think that free apps don’t give revenue to your business, then I must say you are wrong!!! You may be amazed to know that according to Google Play; approximately 98% of the global revenue comes via free applications. Not only this, Techcrunch says that over 90% of applications on market are absolutely free and paid apps are going to raise less money in the future. Now, the question is how do free apps raise money? In the upcoming section of the blog, I am going to discuss 5 ways to make money from free apps. So, let’s get started without any further delay.

This is How Free Apps Make Money

In-app purchase

One of the first factors that allow you to earn money from free application is in-app purchases. They are commonly utilized with the freemium model. Inevitably, you can download the apps for free, but there will be an option of buying multiple physical or virtual products. Moreover, you must have seen that paying extra money would allow you to unlock the premium features in some of the apps. This tactic is generally implemented in gaming applications.

Let’s take an example of Pokémon GO. Here, you go to the Touch Shop, in order to buy PokéCoins. These coins can be used to get various premium items for enhancing the gaming experience. Therefore, if I talk about the gaming apps, it is important to put the appropriate offers at the appropriate time. Instead of, displaying abundant options at game’s every stage; strategize to place them according to the need. In addition, in-app purchases are deployed by e-commerce, as well as shopping apps. One of the best examples of this is Etsy. This app personalized the product recommendations and offers you an exclusive purchase experience.


By using subscription-based applications, you get restricted access. However, you can go through the entire content after paying a certain amount. Apps that are content-based are the primary applications that came in this category. If you ask me for an example, then the first that came to my mind is Marvel Unlimited. It provides a variety of comics for free. However, a huge content is available only for subscribed users. Another app that implements such a model is Spotify. It is a music streaming app with multiple features, including sharing playlists, ad-free music, etc.

Service-based applications also belong to this category. There are several examples of this type of apps. From scheduling mobile apps i.e. Appointy, learning resources i.e. Ekhart Yoga to dating apps i.e. Tinder, all of them utilize this subscription plan.


The third method, utilized by the app developers to gain money is Sponsorship. It gives an additional target as compared to in-app ads. Just because sponsorships are frequently discussed with a particular organization, all the ads are apt for most of you. At the time, Gayot, a mobile app that provides the reviews of restaurant printed by the professionals was launched; it signed a sponsorship pact with The Marriott Rewards Chase card. Both the businesses availed the profit from this deal. This is due to Gayot targets the business travelers who appreciated excellent culinary, as well as travel experiences, which is the core objective of the audience that Marriott wanted to reach.

Also Read: 6 Must-Follow Rules to Build Your First Top-Notch App


This is the commonest tactic utilized for your app monetization. It is commonly deployed by freemium and free applications. Just look at the different mobile ads:

  • Video Ads: Talking about the video ads, they are placed during the app navigation. This means commonly between 15 and 30 seconds. By the rewarded videos, you can get in-app rewards and in exchange, you need to see the full video. Android or iOS app developers need to make these ads crisp so that, no one gets offended or irritated.
  • Banner Ads: No doubt, it is old, but can be effective. It helps the apps to gain attention from the users. Flappy Bird earned around $50,000 per day via in-app ads. Moreover, banner ads are the low-cost format and supported by several applications.


As the name suggests, this model gives free, as well as premium access. You can use the selected features; on the other hand, additional or content features can be viewed by using the subscription fee. You must have heard about Clash of Clans. Yes, it is the best example of the freemium model.  The small purchases that a player need to do during the game bring a huge amount for the app developers.

Ways to Make Money from Free Apps

I hope all your doubts about gaining money by free apps have been cleared now. If you are planning to build your own business mobile app, then you can get in touch with Fluper. It is one of the leading companies in the app development domain with 8+ years of experience. A great app can enhance your business productivity, as well as reach.


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