There are many reasons why you might develop an iOS app for your business. Perhaps you run an e-Commerce store and have discovered the majority of your customers prefer to browse on mobile devices. Maybe you provide an essential service and are curious as to how mobile technology can help you better connect with customers in need. Or maybe you’ve just had a really great idea for a new product, service, or subscription that you want to share with the world.
Regardless, the majority of businesses are looking to make money from their app. This might be to simply offset the cost of mobile app development or as another stream of ongoing income.
There are several different ways that you can choose to monetise your iOS app. Each comes with their own benefits and potential downsides. You should be aware, too, that Apple is constantly looking at the ways that iOS developers are making money, how this impacts their (Apple’s) bottom line, and what they can do to provide a better service to customers.
As an example, if you sign up to certain services through an app (Netflix, Spotify, and Amazon), you will most likely pay a little bit extra. This is because Apple charges developers 30% in tax. The Japanese Fair Trade Commission recently investigated Apple for this practice, which resulted in the company offering developers (globally) the option to provide users with a sign-up link that goes directly to their website, circumventing this extra cost.
Being aware of practices such as this can help business owners and developers create apps that benefit all stakeholders — not just Apple. Continue reading to discover what else you should consider in discussions around app monetisation.
Methods of monetisation
Before we get too deep into the world of monetisation, it’s worth mentioning that the iOS application development field is extremely competitive. There are many apps out there that are completely free, and customers have become accustomed to downloading the software that they want at next to no cost.
With that in mind, the quality of your app becomes extremely important. Ensure that your idea is original and tailored towards your target audience, and that your app is secure and functional. If you need help with any stage of this process, it’s best to contact a professional mobile app development team.
Now, let’s get onto monetisation! The main methods you can use to make money from you app are as follows:
Setting an up-front price is the most simple way of making money from your app. However, despite being a straightforward strategy, it is not a particularly popular one. Research from Statista reveals that as of 2021, 93.6 percent of apps in the Apple Store are free to download.
This means that in setting a fixed price for your app, you are instantly fighting an up-hill battle. The average price of an iOS app is a little over $1 AUD.
However, there are apps on the App Store that cost a couple of hundred dollars. These are most often games that come with high-tech graphics, or security tools designed to protect your online privacy. Unless your app is going to revolutionise your industry, don’t expect to make a fortune through the fixed-price model.
There are certainly pros and cons to in-app advertising. While we have become accustomed to seeing advertisements wherever we go, they can be particularly irritating in apps, usually because they interrupt the user experience.
If you are going to use in-app advertising, consider using a banner model. Wherever possible, avoid pop-ups or videos that have to be watched before the user can move on.
If a user can see value in your app idea, they will be more than happy to pay a subscription for it. Several industries have been very successful in monetising through the subscription model, including the fitness industry and entertainment streaming platforms.
One of the main benefits of a subscription is that it offers a more reliable form of income. You can easily track how many users are signed up to your service and what your predicted earnings for the next payment cycle will be.
Every so often, a story pops up about a curious child who has accidentally spent hundreds of dollars on in-app purchases for their favourite game. They can be a very effective way of luring customers in, particularly if you use the system strategically.
People are more likely to spend money on in-app purchases if they have spent a considerable amount of time navigating your app and can see the true value in what you’ve created. With that in mind, make sure you don’t introduce purchase options too soon and provide plenty of free avenues through which the customer can get a feel for your application.
Finally, data monetisation. Companies who provide marketing and research services will pay a significant amount for quality user data, which they usually use to improve products and services.
Now, it’s important to start this conversation by mentioning that you will need explicit permission for your customers before collecting and selling their data. The data itself needs to be anonymised and make sure you have appropriate security features in place to protect yourself and your users.
It’s also worth mentioning that most companies will only pay for wholesale data. That means you may need tens of thousands of daily users before you can think about earning money through this method.
Companies that provide mobile app development are experts in the entire lifecycle of building a mobile app. That includes everything from the early planning stages to launch and maintenance. If you have any further questions about how to best monetise your app idea, it’s an excellent idea to speak to a professional.