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You must have downloaded a lot of free apps from the app stores and used them for different purposes but have you ever thought what’s the logic behind a mobile app development company offering free app for people? What does the app owner or the developer get by offering apps which are absolutely free to download? The global app download is expected to rise by 25% by the year 2022 and surprisingly, free apps comprise 96% of the total global downloads of all the apps on app stores.

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Gaming section remains the king in getting maximum downloads in free app category. Yes, advertisement is of course a very common way to generate revenue but besides that, there are still various innovative ways through which these free apps make good money through their different and unique marketing strategies. In this blog, we will discuss how these free apps make money and why this trend has gained much popularity even in comparison to paid apps.



In-app ad is the common approach that any Android app development company uses to generate revenue from free mobile apps. It depends on the kind of app that you have launched and businesses related to it offer their ads to run on your app and you get a percentage from the app store as a commission. In-app ads are also majorly categorized into five sections:

Banners: This is the safest means of advertisement that you can use to generate revenue from your free app without compromising on the user experience. However, the click through rate of these ads is not so high (around 0.06%), and the cost per mille CPM is around $1.

Videos: You must have noticed videos ads on almost every app that runs for 10 to 30 seconds. However, you have the option to skip them but these ads are the most common ways to earn money through a free app. These ads are also intrusive in nature as they interrupt the user experience of your app also.

Native Ads: These ads are perfectly designed as per the native platform of the app and do not interfere with app’s user experience. These ads perfectly fit into the ap’s design and overall concept.

Referral Marketing

Referral Marketing

This kind of app monetization strategy is somehow similar to in-app ads only where you place some content inside your app to promote some other app or products. The greater number of clicks and installations it gets via your app, the better commissions you get from the ap store for this. This type of marketing strategy works on click-per-action model.

In-app Purchase Model

You have got the final version of your free app from a mobile app development company and have launched it with some basic features and functionalities and now your users are looking for some more options to get maximum out of your app. Here, you can easily implement this model of in-app purchase where users can purchase premium features to add to their experience. The app store manages all transactions and you are offered commissions based on every feature sold. The in-app purchase strategy is also further divided into three major sections; consumables, non-consumables, and subscriptions.

Sponsorship Model

The only difficulty in using such model to make money out of your free app is to find an apt sponsor. And once you find it, you are really going to make huge money in exchange of the promotion of their product or services. Once your free app gets enough number of downloads and a huge user base, you can easily find sponsors and make huge money within a short time span. Revenue split and monthly sponsorship fee are the two widely used techniques to make money through this model.

Crowd Funding Model

Crowd Funding Model

Kickstarter, Indiegogo, Crowdfunder, and Appsfunder are some of the most popular crowdfunding platforms through which your free app can make good money.  The only thing is, you must have a unique app idea to attract these Crowd funders for your app. To grab their attention, your app must have something unique or a huge userbase to gain their instant attention towards your free app.

E-mail Marketing

e-mail marketing

This remains the most conventional monetization strategy for any Android app development company and it has always proven effective for all types of apps; whether free or paid. The only thing is, you have search for some innovative methods to have emails of your users. You can ask them to exchange their email addresses through some exciting free features or you can get them when users login to your app through their social media accounts. The General Data Protection Policy must be taken into account before collecting emails accounts and sending any mails on them.

App Merchandize Method

You always have the option to become a part of ever-flourishing e-commerce industry and sell your brands within your app. Amazon offers various opportunities including merchandize production, selling, payments, and shipping, and you get some part of the profit in form of commissions. This is the most straightforward and hassle-free way through which free app owners can easily make good money by being an active part of the e-commerce industry.

No matter whatever kind of free app you have launched for your audience, you always have some great options in this world of digitalization to make money from free apps. Just prepare detailed marketing strategy considering the kind of product your app will offer and then decide with your marketing priorities accordingly.

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