Mobincube: a model for mobile app monetization

Tips Feb 22, 2013
Discovering mobile app development (for both the hobbyists and the pros) can be so much fun at first (and so intensive) that it’s easy to forget why you’re building the app in the first place.

For most people, the why is to make money (either second-hand, by driving traffic to a corporate website or online business, or first-hand, by making an app that can be monetized).

In order to ensure that you stay on track, it’s important to have a business model in place before you get started.

Some well-known business models in use today include:

  • The Franchise Model (think: McDonald’s)
  • The Premium Model (think: Louis Vuitton)
  • The Direct Response Model (think: The Shopping Channel)
  • The Subscription Model (think: National Geographic)

But what kind of business models exist for mobile apps ? Are they effective? And how do you integrate a model that will give your business or brand the highest chance of monetary success?

Here are two common mobile monetization models you might consider.

1. The pay-per-download model

The pay-per-download monetization model is the most common used by app developers today. (It was popularized by platforms like iTunes, where users pay money to use or procure an app on their mobile or tablet device.)

2. The freemium model

The freemium model is the one that gave most software and online applications their initial success. It allows potential users to try before they buy and gives businesses the opportunity to get their products out to the masses with a low barrier for potential customer engagement.

The freemium model is often complemented in the mobile world by tactics such as:

A. In-app advertising

You know those pesky ads that pop-up before you can play your favorite free mobile game ? That’s how some free apps make money. By commercializing part (but not all of) the app experience, developers can make a sizable income without having to monetize their own product, and still extend good-will be allowing users to access some of their app’s features.

B. In-app purchasing

You downloaded the latest free version of Angry Birds, and “3-starred” all 10 levels, and are excited to move on, but…you can’t ! That’s how “in-app purchasing” works – you can’t access additional levels or characters without paying. A lot of free apps capitalize on initial interest for their by gating certain experiences, levels or services. This method of monetization works, especially if you have a great app or product, because usually by the time users get to those pay-only levels, they’re invested.

No matter which model you choose to employ for your business, brand, and new app, the most important part will be the target market and industry research you perform before you get started. Find out where your ideal users are, and what modes of monetization your competitors are using. You may even try different approaches for different products and for different markets to see which is the most successful.

And don’t forget: If you get stuck, give the Mobincube team a call today (or join the Mobincube community on Facebook). We live, breathe, and dream “mobile app development” and can help you navigate musically fans hack this new (and fast-moving) landscape.

Click here for more information on mobile app development and monetization.