The Art of Monetizing Apps


Thanks to the popularity of Smartphones and tablets, mobile Apps have become a fundamental element for companies when planning their mobile strategies. Like most elements in good Business practice, the existence of these apps is only really valuable if and when they generate some sort of income, which can only happen through a step called monetization. This week, Neomobile offers an overlook on the different ways that monetization works when it comes to mobile apps.

Get Noticed & Build Traffic

For starters, you have to start your journey with a bit of a gamble. The first step to monetize an app has to do with visibility. No matter how beautiful and practical an app may be, it will be nearly impossible to generate any income if it is floating amongst the thousands of apps that already exist in the most popular virtual stores. But how do you get noticed?

In a recent article by Terry Hughes in confirms that becoming “discovered” has become the trophy of excellence in the current economy created by app monetization. It is precisely for this reason that a battle has launched between Apple and Google to get their hands on the best apps out there. It has led both mobile giants to offer app developers better visibility through strategic positioning and promotions as long as they are willing to sign an exclusive agreement for their inventions.

Once an app has gained the world’s attention, there are various forms to monetize an app. The most traditional way consists of is by hosting ads on the app. Although technically the process is not very time-consuming, the dominance of the pay-per-click relies on steady traffic on the app in order to generate income. So, the trick is figuring out how to maintain traffic.


Forget credit cards, just add it to my phone bill

A large percentage of the world’s population doesn’t own a credit card. Plus, cyber crime grows with each year, and app users don’t feel comfortable giving out personal information like their name, address and credit card info on their mobile devices. Many successful Apps have turned to carrier billing, a process that allows a user to pay for app purchases on their monthly phone bill.

Today more and more app developers and merchants are contacting companies like Neomobile’s, so they can monetize through carrier billing.  This monetization method has become popular due to its effective manner of monetizing not just apps, but also online video games, dating sites, the classifieds, social networks, and even newspapers.

In fact, app developers are having so much success with carrier billing that it has even influenced Google’s recent choice to enter the world of carrier billing.


Make sure the price is right

It is logical that one of the most obvious solutions to monetize an app is by putting a price tag on it. The problem with this option is that you need a really great idea or a great investment in order to create an ‘irresistible’ application that someone would want to pay for. In addition, and as indicated by an article written by Lars Klint’s blog, over 90% of the download market corresponds to free apps.


Go Freemium

When you consider that most people download free content, one of the most effective ways to monetize an app in today’s mobile market has to do with selling virtual goods inside of an app that is free to download. Some examples of this are the famous coins and bars of gold that can be purchased in casual games, exclusive maps in geography apps, stickers for instant messaging, or even a package of words that can be unlocked in a language or translation app.  The options are endless.

At the end of the day, the way you decide to monetize your app will greatly depend on the type of app you want to develop. Once you have a clear idea about the potential visibility your app will have, it will be fundamental to pick a good monetization strategy. And you might find, as Lars Klint says in his article, that selling virtual goods within a free app is one of the best ways to monetize apps in today’s mobile market.