Everything about making money with free apps

Everything about making money with free apps
22 June 2022 Blog 0 Comment

You usually download a program from app stores, it’s just as easy to use. App developers try to monetize users in other ways. If you think that it is possible that making money with free apps is real or not, refer to the following article. In this article, we will tell you how to sell your products with a free app. You will need strategies to make money, we will cover them in this. You will also be taught software development tools and service reviews.

Paid apps market VS Freemium apps

Making money with free apps is very common today because mobile phones can be used for everything. For example, we can find a path with the help of an app. We can order coffee and pizza for ourselves, and booking tickets and buying other items with the help of an app is common.

Paid apps market VS Freemium apps

The number of mobile applications is increasing day by day. Mobile app makers are trying to win in this competitive market. They are trying to make their app globally popular. As of 2018, there are 2 million apps in the App Store and 3.8 apps in Google Play. Given this huge global market, app revenue is projected to reach $ 190 billion by 2020.

Statista Statistics claims that the most lucrative mobile apps are free. Today, users are less inclined towards paid programs, which means they are very strict. So they may have 4 to 9 active apps a day. So free apps have the most downloads.

Users are also looking for popular free apps! According to Gartner Research Group, 24% of users shop through in-app purchases instead of paid apps. So if the value of an application is proven, users will perform many transactions such as shopping and extensive activities in it.

How much could you make money with free apps in 2023?

Let’s say two simple things about Making money with free apps:

1. Free Games to make money

Out of the top 10 programs, 8 are related to the game. For example, Pokemon Go and Candy Crush Saga are downloadable on Google Play, so people are very interested in free games. Due to the widespread use of mobile phones, users try to entertain themselves with the help of mobile phones.

2. Advertising to make money on mobile applications

One way to make money with free apps is to advertise in the free app. For example, non-gaming advertising figures are 36% and M-commerce 21%. It is a wise move for business owners to develop free applications. The next step for Making money with free apps should be to choose a correct and prudent plan.

Free apps to make money strategy


while Google Play and Apple Store do not charge for app downloads, having a plan for free apps to make money strategy that involves in-app advertising is the best way to make money from free apps, as in-app advertising is the largest mobile app revenue source.Free apps to make money strategy

  • Google Play and Apple Store don’t charge for app downloads despite millions of downloads
  • To make money from apps, a plan is needed
  • The best way to make money is with award-winning video ads
  • In-video ads provide revenue for the app store (30% of in-app purchase revenue)
  • In-app advertising is profitable for both the user and app provider through points and rewards
  • Making money with free apps and ads is simple with links, banners, and communication channels
  • In-app advertising is the largest mobile app revenue source
  • App owners earn money from user clicks on ads or app installations

8 popular monetization strategies for free apps

In summary, these 8 ways can be summarized in the following steps:

  1. Advertising
  2. Referral marketing
  3. In-app purchase and Freemium model
  4. Subscription system
  5. Sponsorship system
  6. Crowdfunding system
  7. Email Marketing
  8. E-Commerce and App Merchandise

1. Advertising

Advertising rules

Advertising rules

The easiest and most common way to make money with free apps is mobile advertising. Today, for every 10 apps, 7 promotional apps are organized so that you can receive a fee by clicking or installing. There are 5 types of ads to use in a mobile app:

1.1. Advertisement Banner

These types of ads, which can be seen at the bottom or top of the mobile screen, are less annoying for the user because users can still use the mobile application. Banner ads have a relatively low engagement rate, so they are more dependent on brand credibility.

Flappy Bird, for example, knew that this type of advertising had many drawbacks, but it was able to make good use of it. They could earn an average of $ 50,000 a day through banner ads.

1.2. Video ad

In normal system problems, a video ad may be placed, it may take 10 to 30 seconds. Rewarded video advertising is one of the top categories. The strategy is that the customer receives a reward after seeing the full ad. A good example of a video ad is a VSCO photo. On Instagram, bright colors are used to attract the user.

1.3. Indigenous ads

This can be used for natural mergers, these elements are used in the form of sponsored content or video; So native ads are very common to advertise a particular product. If these templates can be integrated, there is no inconvenience to the customer.

Indigenous advertising is one of the best ways to make money with free apps. Providers are also keen to use this. Alice Island was created by Airbnb in conjunction with the New York Times commercial studio. This played a big role in entering an ideal life because they could have a happier life in America. Therefore, with the help of this strategy, Airbnb was able to welcome its customers wherever they travel.

1.4. Intermediate ad

It is a kind of full-screen advertising, an intermediate advertisement is displayed to the customer at a certain time. The customer can see this when the app is open or closed. The strategy of this ad is that the user either sees the program or examines its content.

This will be done in two parts, an intermediate advertisement was displayed by Emirates Airlines, which was able to receive 170,000 full views of the video and 5,000 clicks on the website. When passengers connected to WiFi, this type of ad was displayed on their mobile screen.

1.5. Incentive ads

Rewarding can be a great strategy to keep users from getting bored while using mobile apps. In general, users like ads! They are looking for rewards, you can consider rewards for users through in-app actions such as filling out polls, sharing content, and so on. The great thing about rewarding is that customer trust in you doubles. In other words, user loyalty and interaction will increase day by day.

The profit of ads for the app owner

In-program currencies and sponsorships are the benefits of incentive ads. It should be wise to use this strategy. As the owner of the app, you should consider rewards for part of the user’s engagement with the app. One of the programs that used motivational ads was Runkeeper. It was used to track personal activities and had gained a lot of fans.

Disadvantages of the advertising system

The most popular way to monetize an app is through ads. Starting an ad for any business can cause harassment to customers. Ads are not well used today because users click less on them. Users who have been in a relationship with an app for a long time may see the end of the ads, but ads for newly established apps may not be profitable or effective.

2. Referral marketing

Referral marketing

Referral marketing

This is closely related to in-app advertising for Making money with free apps. Another type of marketing is now commonly called affiliate marketing. In this, information about the company and its actions is placed in an affiliate program. The more clicks, the more rewards the user will receive. The app owner earns money based on this, for every action or activity of the customer.

Methods of using referral marketing model:

  • Advertise your products or services through your local store.
  • Use in-app ads.
  • You can advertise another app.
  • You can contact companies that specialize in finding affiliate companies, they will guide you well. Through a variety of software and tools, this is easily done.

Now the question is, what campaigns can be used in affiliate marketing in examining the types of Free apps to make money?

2.1. Cost per installation (CPI):

You will receive a fee when the application is installed on the user’s mobile phone through the promotion of your product.

2.2. Cost per million views (CPM):

In CPM, your revenue comes from the number of views. In this way, you can get money from the advertiser for every thousand views.

2.3. Cost per visit (CPV):

In CPV, your revenue comes from the number of video views or other advertising interactions.

2.4. Cost-per-click (CPC):

In this technique of Making money with free apps, your income is the number of clicks that are made on an app. A great example of how affiliate marketing works is Amazon. First, choose your product for advertising, then charge advertising based on each directed purchase.

3. In-app purchases and Freemium system

A very popular strategy in the Freemium app is to use in-app purchases. In this system, there are features such as selling virtual and physical items and blocking ads. Offering outstanding performance or rewards and opening new content is another feature of this system. All these transactions are managed by the application store. The owner can receive a commission as a commission through each transaction.

In-app purchases have three strategies:

  • Consumption
    In mobile games, this item is used once or more.
  • Non-consumable
    These have features that are constantly being used. For example extension functionality, and block ads.
  • Subscription
    With the help of the sharing system, you can keep the lock of additional content and features open for a certain time. For example, by subscribing to monthly or annual services, some applications will generate a lot of revenue. Supercell made $ 1 million a day from Clash of Clans.

Pokémon Go made $ 1.5 million a day through in-app sales. This game is the most lucrative in history, so in 2017 it managed to exceed $ 1 billion. The MX Player app is another example of a freemium application system. This example is one of the well-known video players. This model also has free ads on Google Play. An ad-free, low-cost version of the app is MX Player Pro.

Disadvantages of in-app purchasing system

The profitability of this system is only for the top apps. Apps that have a lot of users provide significant benefits to the app owner. The reason for the difficult implementation of this model is its complex system of development and payment.

High commission fees are also one of the weaknesses of this system. Stores receive about 30% commission. For example, in the Freemium program system, there are two types of programs, lite and full, which is a free version that can be used by users who do not want to pay.

4. Subscription system

subscription effects

subscription effects

In today’s modern world, certain services are provided by free apps, one of which is a shared system. It regulates revenue streams from monthly or annual expenses. Uses of this system are digital news portals, audio content providers, and cloud and video services.

One of the providers of audio and video content is Google, Spotify music. Users have access to the content through an optional subscription plan. The Wall Street Journal and the New York Times are among the most dominant newspaper apps. They were able to reach one million customers with one subscription model.

Disadvantages of the subscription system

In this system, the app owner must have accurate resources and strategies for new content. Therefore, producing accurate content is very important for presenting new content. In addition, being up-to-date to keep up with competitors and ensuring a high level of shared service must also be considered.

5. Sponsorship system

This system is a very popular model for Making money with free apps. With this, you can easily earn money from a free app. This system is mostly used in applications developed by ordinary users. You can get the most out of it when you are compatible with specific apps in the market.

So to match the advertised items with the information in the app, contact the sponsors. The matching of the app design is done in the same way. The 2 main sponsorship deals you should consider:

  1. Determine the cost of monthly support
  2. Equalize app revenue

For example, the Weather Channel app has good financial support for a business model. This provides an animated background design in the field of construction and household goods for Home Depot.

Disadvantages of the sponsorship system

This system works well when you have a special and unique idea for the app. But the most challenging part is finding the right sponsor.

6. Crowdfunding system

One of the relatively new ways to make money with free apps is to use this system. Several different platforms used to raise capital and develop a marketing plan include:

  • Indiegogo
  • Kickstarter
  • Crowd Funder
  • Apps Funder

Programs in other categories receive funding. In 2017, 138 investment program ideas were collected to benefit from free programs. That number for Kickstarter averaged between $ 10,000 and $ 100,000.

If we want to make an exception in this case, our favorite game is Hello Earth! This game with a famous cat character was able to earn 148 thousand dollars.

Disadvantages of the Crowdfunding system

Due to a large number of fans, it is very difficult to benefit from Crowdfunding. You need to show the value of your idea and product, which requires a lot of risk and investment.

7. Email marketing

email marketing

email marketing

An industrial and popular strategy for Making money with free apps is email marketing. This system is a good idea for developing a restaurant app that is very suitable for collecting user data. To increase the interest of subscribers in a product or service, emails and sending content to marketing are usually done. This is useful when job retention rates are declining for you. You can use this system when you want to be informed about new features, bonuses, program news, etc.

Methods of collecting email addresses

You can use third-party tools to easily collect Y-mail. For example, use the Facebook SDK to register a user where you collected emails.

Do not forget to notify the user when using personal data. If your target audience is in Europe, this permission is very important; Because all this must be done according to the GDPR. The New York Times, for example, attracts its subscribers to email distribution through compelling content. Other user information will be received after payment.

Disadvantages of Email Marketing System

The efficiency of this system has decreased due to its widespread use. Top brand programs can make money through this system. But this model is not efficient for a startup and has less power.

8. E-Commerce and App Merchandise



The e-commerce industry is booming day by day and many users are turning to online shopping. Merch tools to profit from this system, are provided by Amazon. With the help of this app, people can create their items and then sell them.

Everything related to the management of this program is done by Amazon. Tasks such as payment, delivery, production, and sales; While you are making a profit from these transactions.

Angry Birds was one of the most successful free apps. The game’s monthly revenue from the sale of velvet bird toys alone was $ 1 million. Game owners also make a lot of money from selling T-shirts, stickers, and backpacks.

Disadvantages of the app merchandise system

Only apps that have a large audience can use this system to make money with free apps. Another alternative to Making money with free apps is to create a free app and sell other items.

Interesting ways for Free apps to make money

The average monthly income of 25% of developers on iOS and 16% on Android are $ 5,000. This is done by the sky. Therefore, a small number of apps on the market are profitable, and this profit is based on their quality.

Owners of free apps are wise to monetize them. Note that 75 to 80% of the applications are not functional and required. Consider these as important criteria in business. Earn money from ads and in-app purchase models through top free apps. The amount of revenue depends on the type of strategy in the application ads.

Advertising revenue

There are a variety of ads to make money through mobile apps:

  • Banner ads:
    The lowest revenue is through banner advertising; This income is $ 0.1.
  • Intermediate advertising:
    With the help of international advertising, you can earn an average income of 1 to 3 dollars.
  • Video ads:
    The highest advertising revenue comes from video ads. This amount is between $ 5 and $ 10.

The CPC system is used in most app ads. In this revenue, the optimal RPM is 2 to 15%.

If you want to calculate the amount of advertising revenue based on RPM, you have to multiply it. For example, with 50,000 banner ads displayed daily, the average number of clicks is 750. Earnings from this, up to $ 75. (750×0.1 = 75)

If you want to count An, you have to multiply the ad number by (1.5 / 100).

For those who spend money to improve their user experience, ads are hidden in free apps. You can even make money by hiding ads. In small transactions, the average purchase is between $ 1 and $ 5.

These micro-transactions can be considered in line with coins. The user-level increases through accessories in competitive games. If we multiply all these by the number of users, we can see that the owners of the game earn a lot of money.

How Much Money Does an App Make?

Users in dating apps like Tinder can buy superior features. The most common monetization strategy in dating programs is the possibility of unlimited liking. By purchasing paid features, the user doubles the income of the app owner.

Other types include premium subscriptions, various seasonal bonus packages, in-app promotions, symbols, labels, and more.

In the review of Free apps to make money, games are considered profitable categories. Free games like Fortnite and Pokemon Go were among the highest-paid apps in August 2018 in the United States.

Candy Crush SAGA and Pokemon Go are some of the most popular Android apps around the world. These ran on Android and iOS platforms, with annual revenues of $ 71.03 and $ 41.6 million, respectively.

pokemon go

pokemon go

Game apps are great, but you can use many other apps as well. One of the most lucrative apps is Netflix. The owners had $ 560 million in revenue in 2017, which was almost double the amount compared in 2016.

Here are some of the best-selling non-gaming apps in the United States:

  • Netflix
  • Pandora
  • Tinder
  • Spotify
  • YouTube
  • Hulu
  • me
  • Match Google Drive

Netflix, Spotify, HBO, and Hulu are the service apps that have subscriptions. The Freemium system is used by Tinder and Pandora. This system can unlock premium performance.

Do you know how to make money with free apps?

To make money with free apps, we will recount the best tools and points. Note that there is a small gap between the attitude of the developer and the user of the application. This is measured by production and income; Therefore, how to earn money from apps should be examined from different angles.

You need to be able to look at the probabilities in a hybrid revenue model. You need to be able to improve in-app purchases and ads according to the user experience and needs, in which case you have targeted the needs of the audience.

How to make real money from mobile apps?

Given the current situation, it is difficult to make money from mobile apps, this is due to market saturation. To solve this problem, it is better to have a substitute for user behavior. The WhatsApp app for FB 2014 was worth $ 19 billion.

WhatsApp has a similar level of interaction to Facebook, according to Mark Zuckerberg. WhatsApp is very popular in the world and is considered one of the free applications. So this value created by this app can also generate tremendous revenue for app owners.

How do WhatsApp and Snapchat make money?

whatsapp app

whatsapp app

There are many ways for a company to earn more money. In the beginning, for a while, this was a paid app, it cost $ 1 for iOS. After a while, the annual cost was one dollar per account. WhatsApp app has 450 million users in the world, so you can think of a lot of revenue for this app! The owners of this app made a serious decision to unveil its revenue model.

Another app worth billions of dollars is Snapchat. The reason for this popularity is the disappearance of messages and the use of geo-filters. This program is also equipped with supported lenses.

Like its main competitors, Facebook and Instagram, it displays ads in major locations. Due to the high level of competition between these popular applications, Snapchat suffered a financial loss of $ 443 million in 2017. The application is expected to reach $ 2 billion in 2018. This is due to the growth of 221 million users.

Steps to make money with free apps

Innovation and reinvention make free mobile apps profitable. Each application we introduced to you had a unique feature. This makes them worth billions of dollars; Because they can create a new experience and a unique feeling for the user.

A great example of this is Uber. The company was able to solve the problem of transportation by taxi by examining people’s behavior. This brought the company to $ 37 billion in revenue in 2017.

To define the best model for making money from the app, there are 4 steps:

  • Step 1: Research the competitive product market
  • Step 2: Determine the target audience
  • Step 3: Create an innovative program concept or idea
  • Step 4: Identify a successful app monetization strategy

Note that Making money with free apps requires a great concept for the app. This makes the product user-friendly. If you can identify people’s weaknesses, it will be very easy to come up with a solution. Products based on this have unique features. So you have to identify the things that users like.

Things that make users angry can also be essential in providing your solution. Therefore, determine how to monetize the application and its models. The model you choose should be relevant to your target audience. Your model must be natural. To attract target users, you must provide a detailed view of the free app. For example, your app should have a compelling name, clearly describe the uses of the app, and have great previews for it.

Interesting tools used to make money with free apps

Now it’s time to say a list of tools that can be used for Making money with free apps:

Tool Function
InMob One of the best tools for creating a user experience in an application. Provides the best user interaction with ads.
Apple’s Ad This tool can have tips on merging your app ads to get Discov.
Admob This tool can improve ads. New customers can be gained. It is possible to understand TA with this tool.
Tapjoy With the help of this tool, you can have analytical predictions about the peak performance of the world’s top brands.
Facebook’s Audience Network With the help of this tool, you can do your ads with precise targeting.
StartApp This tool helps to prioritize ads and increase CTR.
Amazon’s Ad If you advertise Amazon products, you will be rewarded for each show.




With the help of this tool, you can choose the best ads based on application design.

Freemium system for Making money with free apps

Tool Function
Apple In-App Building Tool This tool is the same for the iOS platform. With the help of this tool, it is possible to create subscription content, additional features, and so on.
AdWorkMedia This combination tool is used to provide different models of monetization.
Android In-App Building Tool This tool is developed by Android. This tool has instructions for linking.

In-app video ads

Tool Function
Adcolony It is possible to provide instant playback of HD technology with zero buffer.
Vungle Offers development kit for iOS, Android, and Windows.
Inneractive Accurate documentation of innovative advertising is possible with reports and analysis.

What are the incremental trends for Making money with free apps?

One of the most popular ways to get paid for an app is in-app advertising. If you want to change priorities, you must also consider the user experience. User experience plays a dominant role in any priority change.

You can achieve huge incomes when you can consider the right ad at the right time and for the right audience. Using too much advertising will make the audience tired! Customer trust is also lost due to excessive advertising on your program. Note that the advertised product must match the purpose of your app.

The popularity of the Freemium application model is increasing!

The reason Freemium is a healthy solution is that most people use free apps. Users have the opportunity to be trained and have a good user experience. Premium features are also provided by this model. Therefore, users are also nurtured to exchange these options and trade.

The focus of this model is more on user interaction. This idea leads the user to buy and can leave you with very good profits! The subscription model grew significantly in 2018. Apple had made it available to all of its apps. Having a subscription model allows data analysis for products.

Free monetization models of apps in emerging markets:

The models we mentioned in the previous sections were about developed markets. You can make money from these apps with the help of various mobile phone functions. New users are expected to operate in emerging markets. In the case of a by-product, it can be said that users produce the product within a program that the company can sell.


In the study of ways of making money with free apps, the top position of in-app advertising remains a successful method. It can be said that in-app purchases and subscription systems are other lucrative methods.

You must first have a thorough understanding of the products you offer. You need to be able to identify the pros and cons of your method, you need to know what your product is worth and who your target audience is. You need to be able to identify existing competing products. Simultaneous creation of revenue streams from the application is possible using several different methods of monetization.

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