Many of our app makers contact us to ask how they can make money from a free Android app and is it really possible. I want to tell you that it is possible to make money from a free Android app but with everything in life, the amount of money you will make will depend on the amount of effort and research you are willing to put in at the beginning of your app making career.
make money from a free android app
What is amazing with app making, is that once the app has been designed and developed, if the business plan has been created up front and your marketing techniques have been decided, the app will then begin to make you money while you just sit back and get on with making new apps or going on holiday. The key is to understand the app market and your monetization options first, then plan and build your app.
What is the most successful monetization strategy?
The most successful way to make money from a free Android app is through mobile ads, with over 38% of app makers opting to use some form of mobile ad to monetize their apps. Today we are going to look at the different types of mobile ads there are on the market and from this you can decide which best suits your needs.
Why are mobile ads so popular?
Mobile ads are the most popular form of monetization due to the fact that app users do not have to pull out their credit cards in order for you, the app maker to make money. Mobile app networks will generally pay you based on clicks, downloads, installs and impressions that are generated via your app.
What Types of Mobile Ads are Out There?
Below is a list of some of the more popular forms of mobile advertisements:
Banner ads – These are the ads that appear at the top or bottom of your screen and can be viewed whilst the app is in use. These ads take only a tiny space from your app and therefore are seen an non-intrusive. Banner ads will generate the most impressions, meaning they, on average, will be seen 5-7 times per app use. The downside to banner ads, is that the CPM (cost per thousand impressions) that you will be paid is very low, therefore you need to increase the amount of time a user is on the app to ensure the ads are viewed as many times as possible to get any form of decent revenue from them.
Rich Media – This ads are audio or video ads that you integrate within your app, they are a great way to grab your users attention. The downside to these apps, is that if your app user has a slow internet connection these ads can take a while to load and can be perceived as annoying if they aren’t easy to mute or disable.
Interstitial: Or what we know as full screen ads. These ads are most often used when apps are loading, when an app is paused or a task is completed on an app. These forms of mobile ads are generally very well received if they are positioned at the right moment in time on the app. The timing of using these ad types is very important in order to not disturb app use and be distracting or annoying. Although these ads get a lower amount of impressions than banner ads, the CPM is on average a lot higher.
Click to Call: This ad style allows a phone number within the ad to be called and leads to the app user directly contacting the business being advertised. This cuts out the middleman and is very popular with businesses looking to advertise. The revenue per CPM is again on the higher side in comparison to banner ads.
SMS/Text Ads: The most controversial of all the mobile ads. This ad form sends messages via push notifications or text(SMS) messages direct to users mobile devices. If used in the correct manner this advertising can be the most effective of all, especially if the ads are time sensitive and location sensitive. For example if the app sends ads to users for a Christmas promotion in a store in Florida to 1000 people based in Los Angeles in March then the ad will be rendered useless, however, if it is sent a week before Christmas to 1000 people that are within 5 KM of the store being advertised then the likihood of conversion will be much higher than all of the mobile ad campaigns put together. This will take a lot more planning that the other mobile ad sources, but financially it would be a lot more rewarding.
If you don’t try out different monetization methods you will never know which method best suits the needs of your app business. The app business is all about trial and error as each app is individual to the audience which it has captured. Good luck and please, share your stories with us about how you have tried to make money with a free Android app.