How To Turn an App Into Real Money: The Best Ways For Moneymaking?

The world of mobile applications is developing rapidly: every year not only the number of smartphone and tablet users grows, but also the number of programs with a wide variety of functionality. Media, online stores, games, various digital tools – today you can find almost anything on Google Play and the App Store.

Apps are expected to generate more than $ 935 billion in revenue by 2023, making the industry one of the most promising. That is why there are more and more people who want to profit from the development of these programs every year.

Until a few years ago, it was believed that to create a high-quality product that you can actually make money on, you need special programming skills. But in practice, we see that this is far from always the case: sometimes it is enough to have a good and popular idea in order to achieve your goal.

So, earning on creating applications today is not a privilege, it is available to everyone who is ready to spend their energy and time on the implementation of a worthwhile project. After all, there are many dedicated tools out there to create a functional program without coding skills, and hundreds of developers offer their services on freelance exchanges.

According to eMarketer, users spend 88% of their time on mobile in a variety of apps. At the same time, the owner of a smartphone enjoys on average 10 products per day and 30 ones per month – and this is great news for custom app developer.

In this article, we will figure out which monetization methods are worth using, and what kind of income to expect.

Monetization options

The two main types of earning programs are divided into two broad categories – paid and free. You are able to make money both on those and on the others, only the methods differ. As for paid apps, the customer pays for them upon purchase and has an opportunity to apply them as much as they want (in rare cases, there are tariffs with free demo access). There are more varied ways to monetize free apps, but their effectiveness is difficult to predict.

What types of earnings are there? Let’s take a look at the most promising ones.

In-program purchases

This method is considered the most popular as it accounts for over 50% of all income. The way is perfect for online stores, games in which additional functionality is available to players for an additional fee, etc.

Let’s look at a couple of specific examples. In many games, such as Fun Run 3, for real money, you can buy various items, accessories for characters, functions that help in the passage of the game, or new characters. In most cases, these applications have their own incentive system that allows you to earn points for the purchase of almost any object. But many players will want to buy them, because accumulating the required number of bonuses in a short time can be a difficult task.

The second example is buying additional features. CoinKeeper is a free budget planning assistant where some extremely useful features can be purchased for an additional fee. For example, it is possible to connect family members to budget planning, set up notifications, etc.


An excellent opportunity to monetize a free brainchild is to run ads in it. It works as follows: the interface provides for a separate block in which the advertisement will be broadcast. For each click on the pop-up banner, the program owner receives a monetary reward.

To earn on ad views, you need to connect to one of the affiliate programs. Some of the most popular today are Google Adwords, Adcash, Mobile-Click, etc.

For this type of earnings to be effective, it must win a wide audience. It is recommended to use advertising aimed at the target audience, and corresponding to at least some extent to the subject of the application – then this way of profit could bring good income.

Earnings on subscriptions

A software subscription is a way of purchasing additional features and content. It also disables annoying ads that prevent you from enjoying your product. However, the term of using such functionality is limited in time (most often the subscription is valid for a week, month, six months or a year).

The cost of a subscription will depend on the set of features that you provide to your customers, but usually it is not that high.

As practice shows, such a monetization model is more effective – it provides income 50% higher than buying game items, for example. The secret to success is to offer the functionality or content they really need, capabilities that players really want to pay for. This strategy of making money is ideal for platforms or services with a wide target audience. It is better for niche projects to refuse this monetization option.


This method of monetization is suitable for developers or teams who have not only an idea for a cool creative, but also the skills to implement it. The essence of this method is as follows: you are developing an app that runs on behalf of another (usually large) company. For this, the publisher pays the developer (or the development team) a generous remuneration and, sometimes, gives the right to receive a percentage of the commission.

This model provides great opportunities and is often more profitable than launching an app on its own behalf, since large companies already have a certain reputation and brand loyalty, as well as resources to promote your product.

Earnings on paid programs

Paid apps themselves are less popular, as many customers are afraid to purchase an app without a guarantee of its effectiveness. However, if you really have something to offer, this option may seem like a good fit. As a rule, paid applications do not imply the use of advertising (or there is an option to disable them, and this is more Paidmium).

Prices for web-products could vary from 20 to 1000 rubles on average, while the total income may be lower than when using advertising or, for example, the Freemium model. Nevertheless, this type still occupies 10-15% of the entire segment of the IT-market.

The launch of the program should be regarded as a full-fledged business project, so it is important to prepare for it in advance. And for this you need to plan a budget, estimate potential proceeds, study the target audience and competitors, etc. Often, successful projects are not something new or innovative, it is important to study the disadvantages of analogs and propose a new solution that will be better -in this case your brainchild could not only be able to compete in the market, but also bring real profit.