Choosing the right finance model for your app

You might be tempted to think you can create your app now and worry about how you make money with it later. The problem with that is that the way that people use your app will have an influence on how you can make money with it. There are several options available to you:

  • Sell the app: This model is the most obvious, and means you need to convince people the app is worth buying and demonstrate that it is after they have downloaded the app. Your app needs to quickly show that it delivers value, because if people can’t start to see benefits in the first session, they are more likely to request a refund under AppUp’s 24 hour trial period policy. To sell your app, it needs to be strongly differentiated from competitive free apps, so make sure your marketing materials and app presentation make clear what’s unique about it.
  • Use advertising: You can give your app away for free and make money from adverts displayed in it while it’s in use. The mOcean Mobile Advertising Component is available in the AppUp Developer Catalog for free, but you’ll need to create an app that people keep coming back to over a period of days, weeks and months to get best results. The value of a one-off use is small. Ads deliver returns when they are incorporated with content that people want to see regularly.
  • Sell upgrades: Using the InApplication Upgrade feature announced recently, you can encourage people to upgrade from one app to another app on AppUp. That means you have the opportunity to create episodic games, with the first one given away for free to draw in players, or to create a light version (often spelled ‘lite’) with more limited features that people can try for free, and a full version that is sold. For apps that take a long time to show their worth or require a significant time investment in setup, this could be the best approach. Giving away a free light version means people can set it up at their leisure, without worrying about the 24-hour deadline to get it working. When it comes to the upgrade, you will already have demonstrated the value of your app, so you might be able to command a higher price.

Which model do you think presents the best opportunities?

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