Home » App » How to make money with your app: free app vs paid app

How to make money with your app: free app vs paid app

How to make money with your app: free app vs paid app

Currently, up to 90% of the time we use our mobile phones is spent on apps. Therefore, how to make money with a free or paid app has become a major goal for many companies. 

The app market is continuously growing and it is expected that by 2025 this sector will be worth no less than 226 billion dollars. A tasty morsel that no company wants to leave off the table.


Paid App vs Free App 

Nowadays, we can create our app to make money. We can do it through free or paid apps. One strategy is not better than the other, but knowing how to choose is important in order not to waste time and money.


?  You might be interested: 7 Revealed Secrets of Famous App Businesses


Paid app

You have to make an initial outlay to use them. These are applications that will give you money directly but have a lower number of downloads, as there are customers who are not willing to pay without having tried what you offer.

Your customers have high expectations, so the platform has to work perfectly and offer functionality that meets their needs.

The design and development of these types of apps are high and their monetisation options are more limited.

Free app

They attract more users and have higher visibility and number of downloads. 

As a result, they also generate a lot of feedback that helps to optimise the user experience. 

They are less costly to design, as they start with something simpler, and based on the feedback received from their use, they are refined. Consumers of these applications do not have such high expectations. 

They also offer multiple monetisation possibilities

Other ways to make money with a free app

In-app advertising

In-app advertising displays advertisements, usually through video rewards. Typically, when the user sees an ad, they get coins to unlock additional levels or features.


In-app ads have a higher likelihood of reaching audiences than if done through other means. They also help measure interaction and generate more traffic.  


This model is effective only with apps that have a high user attraction. If unattractive ads are used, they are completely ignored, and can even be seen as a bad user experience by interrupting the user’s session. 

whatsapp and money
Smartphone and banknotes. Source: Unsplash


Typically, the application offers free content for a trial period, after which users pay a subscription fee for unrestricted access to the content.


They offer reliable revenue and are apps that attract users who are committed to the platforms they consume and create feedback that allows them to improve the app.

They use low prices in the fees that do not involve a large outlay for the customer.


New features and content need to be added regularly to keep the app up to date and interesting. It also requires a good and efficient support system.


✏️  Recommend article: How much does it cost to make an app?


In-app purchase

This model turns free app users into consumers in a way that is not too intrusive.

It allows you to sell a wide variety of virtual goods and enhance the user experience. 


It is a method with the potential for high profits through a high number of low-priced purchases, by acquiring gems or in-app coins, which are used to purchase more advanced services.

Credit data is securely protected for in-app purchases.


If purchases are implemented poorly it can lead to negative reviews and disgruntled users. You also have to keep consumers engaged to keep them paying through constant updates and new products.

The cost of design and development is high. 

Ebook 1 App Descarga


Freemium apps are applications where users download the app for free but have limited access to the services offered. If they like the app, they have the option to pay to enjoy the rest of the functionalities. 


They have great reach because they are free, have the advantage of a subscription model and do not feature intrusive ads that can annoy the user.


There are fluctuations in revenue, as sign-ups to the app are not as reliable as in the subscription model. 


?  Keep reading: Mobile App KPIs: How to Improve them by Updating your App


Selling data

Mobile phones are usually used by a single person, so their use is related to the owner’s daily habits. Applications collect a large amount of information that they can then sell to companies and organisations interested in it.


Such data is a useful tool to identify and listen to the needs of consumers and make these needs available to companies that can use them and, for example, segment consumers in purchasing processes. 

It is also a very profitable monetisation model.


It is difficult to maintain the confidentiality of customer data in some cases and guarantee the security of the data.

working with data
Working with data. Source: Pexels

Tips for choosing the best strategy  

We list three tips to choose the best strategy for your app


The first thing is to decide what we want the app to do. That is, establish what problem it solves and how it does it. 

We will be able to define what type of monetisation fits best for our app, as not all formulas work the same for all types of applications. 


Competitor research should be a priority. 

Studying other similar apps will allow us to know what users like most about them, what aspects need to be improved to offer a better product and what monetisation strategies are the most common and how they are used. 


Another very important aspect when defining our product and that will help us to choose the monetisation strategy is the study of potential customers

It is necessary to investigate their profile with information such as age, needs, time slot in which they will use the app, how much they are willing to pay, etc., focusing on designing a product that meets our objectives and user needs.


As you saw, make money with your app is a very important decision and it is not an easy one to make. Yeeply has been advising companies and startups for years to choose the best solution for their business. If you have a project and you need us to give you a hand, tell us briefly what you need. We will be happy to help you.

Proyecto App

Posted in App