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Ultimate Guide to Earn Money with Free Apps in 2021

The paid app market has always been outstripped by the free app market. Both in terms of downloads and earnings. Most people ask “How much do apps make?” Did you know that apps can make you money?

Before we dive into the ways that free apps make money, Techcrunch says that the app boom is not over.

Despite the fact that paid app revenue has fallen from 75.9% down to 37.8%, it is still worth billions.

What’s the difference between paid and free apps?

People who don’t have the technical skills to distinguish between paid and free apps aren’t tech-savvy. Many people ignore this distinction. You must remember that there is no free lunch. That is the beginning of this piece.

When something is given away for free, there’s always a catch.

My personal money management service is available for everyone right now. Once I have fixed all the problems and added all the desired features, the service will be charged for. The paywall will lock the service. Why is this happening? My app does not contain any monitoring or commercials, even Google Analytics.

A developer or company offering a free app is almost always offering a way to make money from it. It’s well-known that every app uses some type of tracking. It aids in product improvement and AI.

Get Apps for Free

An app that is free does not require a security assessment of the salesforce. It is free for customers to download.

  • Paid apps have fewer downloads. You will lose potential customers who don’t want to pay.

Paid Apps

The license can be controlled by you in a paid application, while customers must purchase licenses through a payment gateway. Salesforce offers an LMA application to manage licenses.

LMA is an application which will be installed on your Salesforce instance. Salesforce will charge for security review. It also adds revenue-sharing agreements with Salesforce ISV teams.

Salesforce offers trial templates and trial orgs. Customers can test your product by using this feature.

  • Paying customers will not be able to download the paid app as it has fewer downloads.

Apps that are free have higher success rates.

You have an app idea that you think will become the next big thing. The app was well planned and designed. It was a difficult task to find the best app developers and ensure that it meets all requirements.

All your efforts won’t be worth anything if you don’t have a strategy to monetize your app. How do you plan to monetize your app on mobile?

Apps that are free have a higher chance of being successful in the app store, but making money requires a well-planned monetization strategy.

It is harder to make money with free apps than it is from apps that have a visible price tag.

There are many ways to make money from your free software. Each method has its advantages and disadvantages. Continue reading to find out:

  • Apps that make you money for nothing

These will allow you to determine the best way to increase revenue from your app.

App Monetization Strategies

These are the top app monetization strategies as of 2015. These are the top recommendations for mobile app developers.

There are many ways to make money, it is obvious. The problem is choosing the right ones. They are all included in the previous post.

Find out how to make money using mobile apps in a variety ways.


Advertising is the easiest and most common way to make money from free software. You can also make money with third-party advertising networks.

Advertisements are an easy way to make money and monetize your apps. App owners only need to add advertisements to their app. Affiliate marketing is another option to make money with third-party advertising networks.

Every time an ad appears, you can get paid. Each time a user clicks the ad. Each time the user downloads the sponsored program. You can also run ads campaigns to generate money for a short time, since this is a free program.

Four types of display ads are used by app vendors to monetize apps. First, make sure you track if your target customers find them useful or not.

Interstitial ads:

This type of adverts includes full-screen popups that are displayed at specific times. This ad can be closed by pressing the close button at the top left or right.

An example is when a user saves a photo to the gallery and finishes editing it, an advert may appear.

This strategy is used by Gaana, an excellent example of app monetization. This ad strategy allowed the app to enhance its user experience. They did this without any advertising fees.

Banner ads

Display advertising comes in a variety of sizes and appears at the top or bottom the screen. These display ads are often small and barely noticeable, which allows users to use the program as they please.

Video ads in-app:

These ads appear automatically and can be used to reward users for in-app rewards.

For example, app users can earn app currency by watching an ad video. These can be used to unlock new levels or purchase more features. This is the most popular advertising-income strategy.

Native ads

Native ads are embedded in the app to make it look natural. It is used most often to promote a product, or a mobile application. This is where affiliate marketing can be used to increase app user engagement.

These ads are less annoying and intrusive for people. This strategy is growing in popularity.

One thing to remember about native ads is their potential earnings. Native ads are disliked most by users even though they are considered the best technique by app developers.

Rewarded videos:

This is the best advertising model for in-app ad integration. Online users can watch them as they exchange points, lives, or virtual goods. This ad model is easy to make money. You can also successfully communicate brand messages as an advertiser.

Adopting this ad campaign has the main benefit of a high retention rate. It rewards viewers for watching the ads. This is great news for the gaming industry, as gamers love getting free stuff. This type of advertising has a higher effective cost per mile than any other.

As the great philosopher said, there are two sides to everything. Let’s now take a look at this app monetization strategy.


  • It increases your app’s primary revenues by increasing CTR.


  • This works best for apps with a large user base.

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Subscriptions are a great way to make money. App publishers have the option to offer free content for a limited time. Next, start charging customers for a membership fee. They can then access the whole app without limitations.

A majority of free app publishers follow a common strategy. They offer a free trial before charging a subscription fee. This is only for those who want to continue using the app’s content.

Cloud services, audio and video streaming and online news services are examples.

Apple is particularly interested in how subscription models work for apps. This will make it easier to incorporate this revenue model. Apple’s current revenue split of 70/30 will continue for the first year of subscription. After one year, the revised revenue split of 85/15 is in effect.

This structure was designed to encourage app publishers and to allow them to charge a recurring fee. App publishers should not charge a one-time fee for their apps. Sweet Pricing says that only 5% are subscription-based apps.


  • This is a great idea for cloud services such as Spotify, which provide music and video content.


  • Keep innovating new features for app subscribers.

Selling Merchandise

A new idea is to sell products using your mobile app.

Many e-commerce companies offer free versions of physical items such as shoes, clothes, toys, and clothing. You can sell these genuine items through the app and email marketing.

Amazon launched Merch by Amazon. This will encourage app developers and designers to use this service. This service allows publishers to create artwork and upload it to their platform. Both app users and app owners benefit from this win-win arrangement.

Amazon makes it easy to ship and sell items.

These are the advantages and disadvantages. These will help you decide if this monetization method is right for your app idea.


  • Online selling allows you to reach more people at any hour and in any location.


  • Software integration issues. eCommerce solutions can take time and could lead to data errors.

In-App Purchases

You can make in-app purchases from your mobile app. They are very simple and easy to do. These are used to gain access to special content or features such as powerups or restricted levels or additional functionality.

In-app purchases let you sell virtual items from the game. In-app purchases have made it easier to use the best free games apps. Clash of Clans and Angry Birds are two examples.

Forbes reports that publishers make the largest profits from apps with in-app purchases. This monetization strategy is expected to dominate the next few years.

This is because of the digital currency. Half of all games offer multiple game currencies. This includes gold, gems, and coins. In-app purchases are an important reason why people download apps.

This is a great way to convert non-paying users into paying users of your app without being too bossy. To keep them paying, however, you need to keep them engaged in your mobile apps.

According to Fyber, the most popular tech company is:

“There are many brands among companies and ad agencies. They account for approximately 77% of all the total. They have encouraged their agencies to invest into in-app purchasing inventory

Both advertisers and agencies agree. Mobile is now the main focus of UK advertising budgets. Because in-app ads are more trustworthy than mobile browser advertisements, this is why they make up the majority of UK advertising budgets. They are therefore worth investing in. To increase engagement, in-app transactions can also be used.

According to the Business of Apps Report.

Its opt-in, rewarded and playable ad formats are the best in-app purchase methods.


  • Low-monetization strategies have a good chance of producing big earnings.


  • Let’s say that in-app transactions were not properly implemented. These could lead to negative reviews or disappointed users. However, people who make in-app purchases have higher expectations.

Apps can therefore make money without the need for adverts, in-app purchases or sales of goods. Check out 7 additional monetization strategies.

  • Sponsorship


Sponsorship is an alternative to traditional revenue streams, but it can still prove to be a very interesting idea.

Let’s say that an app publisher creates the perfect app for a particular demographic. They launch the app for sponsorship. This can be a very lucrative way to monetize your app.

App publishers need to think about sponsors who are the same target audience as their apps. It is a good idea to make a list of businesses that will benefit from the collaboration.

The Home Depot advertises on the Weather Channel App. This is an excellent example of how sponsorship partnerships can make free apps more profitable. Sponsored commercial. The animated background of the temperature measurement app is an animation. This commercial is for homeowners who are interested in weatherproofing their homes.

These are the pros and cons. These will help you decide if this app monetization method is right for you.


  • It allows brands to offer special content or discount ad spaces within your app.


  • Apps must have a strong brand and be supported by sophisticated data and users.

Referral Marketing

Advertising a third-party product/service to increase income is known as it.

Based on how many clicks or installations an app publisher has, they can promote or sell the items or services of their affiliates. Pop-up advertising can be used to advertise or promote an app of another person.

Publishers use a variety referral marketing strategies. This allows them to grow their businesses.

Collecting and selling data

Apps can collect a lot data about users. This includes user behavior and other app usages. These user behavior data are of interest to many academics from different fields.

Free app developers can make a profit selling users’ behavior data. This includes users’ email addresses, social media profiles and personal preferences.

Two benefits can be derived from this model. You can use the data to track users and then sell it to researchers or organizations. You can also make your own use of the raw data.

Companies are willing to pay to present ads to the most relevant audiences. If you have enough data that is relevant, you may be able make a profit.

Below is a summary. This will help you get the most from your monetization strategy.


  • This strategy makes it easy to segment consumers and simplifies the buying process.


  • The disclosure of personal information about a consumer

Get a free upgrade to the Premium Package

Freemium apps refer to those available for download without charge. However, they may contain premium or paid features. These premium and paid features can only be accessed by paying in-app.

This type of program is free to download. If they enjoy the content they can upgrade to gain full functionality by purchasing.

Premium services can be purchased at an additional cost. This strategy is able to attract many new customers.

This method is also used extensively in education, sports, and health applications. Users can get premium features for a small fee.

These pros and cons will help to decide whether you want to use the freemium model or not for your free app concept.


  • There are no unwanted advertisements


  • Variations in revenue

Purchases of physical items

Many startups and eCommerce companies have started to sell their products through the app store. Angry Birds is an example of a free app that raises earnings from branded products.

Rovio has sold 1 million branded tshirts, backpacks and stickers along with its gaming software. Amazon actually created the Merch self-service platform. Amazon was able to sell customized branded tee-shirts via their apps. This allows them generate revenue from their products.

Let’s look at the drawbacks and benefits of this monetization method. These will help you to understand how free apps can make money without ads.


  • This business idea is flexible enough to be used in any industry.


  • The app store listing page will show physical purchases if they are included.

Transaction fees

Transaction fees are the best way to monetize apps. It is the best way to monetize apps in the app market. This is especially true for apps that allow digital transactions.

Let’s take an example. Transaction fees can be charged. Third parties can sell their items through your app and purchase those items online. A small fee may be charged for every transaction made through your app. This could help you make a lot of money. You can make money with your mobile apps, but not have to spend much money.


  • It is a trick to generate income.


  • Because you have a fixed income, you can’t adjust the cost.


Crowdfunding is a new way to make money with free apps. This strategy allows startups and businesses to post their ideas on crowdfunding platforms. This is done to raise funds for development and advertising their app. There are many platforms, including Kickstarter, Crowd Supply and Crowd Supply, Fundable and Indiegogo.

According to Mobile Growth Stack data, crowdfunding is more popular for non-gaming apps. As of May 2017, there were 138 apps that raised funds between $10,000 to $100,000. Only 29 mobile games had a similar funding target.


  • Low-cost funding


  • Transparency boosted

How to Avoid App Monetization Mistakes

In the beginning stages of any project, mistakes are common. This can lead to costly mistakes that could result in major losses. These blunders can be avoided by being aware of them.

Not Analyzing And Targeting A Particular Niche

It is important to know the requirements of users in each country. Your program may be popular in one country, but not in another. You must study the market niche and the sustainability of users. First, study the potential users. Then create a monetization strategy.

Choose the wrong pricing model

It’s an important part of app monetization plans, but it can also be delicate. It’s possible to lose everything you have worked so hard for by setting prices that are too high. You may think $5 is reasonable for US users (the average US iOS user spends $88 annually on mobile apps). However, consumers in other countries may not find the same pricing appropriate. Before making any decision, ensure that you research your target audience.

There is no strategy for the localized version

Let’s take a look at an example to better understand this. Let’s say you charge USD 1 for a US user to skip a level of your game. For US users, this may be an acceptable price to make in-app purchases. It may not be affordable for users living in countries with tight budgets. Customers may not be able to pay the same amount in some countries, like Latin America. The in-app app monetization model could even fail.

You can also use in-app ads to make cash.

There is no strategy

App developers are independent and publish apps for fun or to develop one. It is not important to make the app a business. When the development process has commenced, it is a good time to start planning monetization.

These models can be combined and incorporated into your app in a stylish and functional way.

What is the average price of apps for each download?

Revenue is not generated by the app’s downloads. At least not on Google Play or the App Store. Amazon Underground is the only place you can get paid users to use your app.

There are many ways apps can make money, but these three are the most popular.

  • Outright Purchases (your paid app)

What is the revenue from advertising for a free app?

Most advertising networks employ a cost per click (CPC) model for the app. A user clicks on an advertisement and a penny is added to your account. The average click-through rate for banner ads is $0.10. The minimum or ideal click-through rate (CTR), for an app is between 1.5–2 percent. It increases the app’s user engagement.

The average revenue per impression in the free apps

Your revenue model determines how much each app makes per impression. Banner ads, for example, have the lowest revenue per impression ($0.10). Interstitial ads have moderate revenue per impression ($1–3). The highest revenue per impression is generated by video ads ($5–10).


In-app ads continue to be the best income strategy. Subscription models and in-app purchases are also high-earning revenue streams.

Every strategy has its pros and cons. It is important to fully understand the product you are trying to create.

What benefits will it bring?

What demographic is the target audience?

Do you know of any similar products?

A well-thought-out business strategy is possible. This strategy can be used to monetize the app and include income sources. Financial profits and customer happiness are closely linked.

The above headings are very useful if they are used correctly. But what if you need a more technical structure? Hire an app developer and a digital marketer. They will help you to make money in the most logical and legal ways.

Search our trusted network for top-rated Mobile Application Development Companies to find the best Mobile Application Developers.

Joshua Sequeira



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