These days it seems every person you know has a great idea for an app, and they can talk all day about what the app will do and how unique it is. But when you ask them how the app will generate revenue, they generally don’t have much to say. This is hardly a surprise. Monetising on mobile is a relatively new business and it can be difficult to identify revenue opportunities, let alone formulate and implement strategies to take full advantage of these opportunities. Just as e- commerce required numerous iterations for over a decade to provide viable business models and established best practices (not to mention a seamless consumer experience), monetisation on mobile also has some way to go before methods and strategies are crystallised.
The emergence of several key trends in the mobile app space, however, should not be ignored:
First, the free-to-play model is on the rise and seems to be here to stay. More and more apps are providing a free experience while actively attempting to monetise the user after installation.
Second, the apps that monetise best have a clear monetisation model built into the app’s design and overall user experience. It is a bad idea to build the app first and then try to figure out how to monetise it.
Third, advertising continues to be the largest source of mobile revenue although in-app purchase revenue is steadily catching up. High grossing apps have succeeded by taking full advantage of large user bases, without allowing ads to disrupt the overall user experience.
Finally, the most successful apps are those that tailor their monetisation strategies by platform.