How Do Free Apps Make Money in 2023

Many different apps may look free, and you can use them for free, but can they make a profit? Free platforms like GGBet casino offer access to their games with no ads. Moreover, you do not even have to pay to play their demo game versions! 

Today, we will show you several ways by which apps earn or make money in 2023. In the end, you will get a clear picture of how app developers monetize their products. 

1. Paid App

The most direct method to earn money from an application is the oldest method — sell it. In this monetization method, you will get paid upfront before the customer can download and install the program. Or, the customer can play a demo version of the app for seven days, and then they can buy it. The demo version is free to play. But later, customers have to start paying once they want to play the real deal. 

However, the biggest challenge is that not all phone users have credit cards. Because of this, you are limiting your earning potential. The other issue is that many players today do not want to pay for something they have not tried. 

In addition, people nowadays are so used to accessing free apps that, to them, paying for them is obscene. However, you can charge for your game if you are confident that it is a Triple-A game. Of course, you need to ensure that the game is worth the money. Gamers are picky! Even excellent games, like Assassin’s Creed, have complaints. 

At best, a paid app as a monetization works best for business apps but not for games. At the very least, your target market is businesspeople who need productivity software — they have the money to pay. 

2. Advertising

The second most common method, and also the most annoying, is advertising. In many games, the app developer opts for this monetization. 

So, how does it work? Once a customer downloads an app, you, as the developer, will enable the ad to pop up while the game is playing. Usually, developers also use the Google system for games or application advertising. 

The app developer earns money from either clicks or impressions. This revenue is shared between you and Google. The rate varies, and there is no single price to how much it costs. The challenge with an advertisement is that it is annoying. Besides, ads are super cheap, and you cannot expect to become a millionaire with them. 

3. Subscription

The next method to monetize your creation is a subscription. Most of the time, this method applies to business software applications. 

A good example is a credit card charging system on the phone, like Shopify Starter. Some game developers use this monetization in addition to in-game purchases. Obviously, the app automatically becomes not free, however, it is very common for the new generation to have multiple subscriptions. 

For example, Roblox sells a subscription where the user or player will receive Robux (in-game money) monthly. There is no ad in this game, and players can also purchase Robux as a single purchase, not as a subscription. 

4. In-Game Purchases

Many apps have in-game money. The user must accumulate this in-game money to be able to make a purchase in the game. Eventually, these purchases can: 

  • Help the player advances faster;
  • Give the player cosmetic advantages;
  • Provide extra boosts for the player;
  • Give a player loot.

In-game purchase is the second most used method of monetization. Games that have this process do not have ads. The beauty of it is that the users have the option to buy or not to buy. 

The thing here is that most players get dissatisfied. By design, the game developer makes player development so hard that one is forced to spend money. Some developers make it a point that the player must keep spending just to be at the top of his game. 

5. Upgrade to Unlock Full Game

The last method is similar to the first one. The difference is that in this method, the user can test the app before deciding to purchase the entire game. 

This monetization strategy is popular in kids’ learning apps. The parents can use the program for free, but with limitations. If the app made it possible for a child to learn, such as reading or counting, the parent now has the option to purchase and get all available features.

This strategy does not work in games, as players would rather play the whole game without spending money. For business apps, however, this strategy will also work.

There are many ways for app developers to monetize their creations. It is only a matter of understanding what works best for the users. For instance, for games like Hitman or Diablo, it is better to sell in-game goods than advertising. 

If you are an app developer, you must take into account your audience or player type before you decide on your monetization scheme. The last thing you want is to alienate them. If they leave because of too many ads, then you will have more challenges monetizing your app.


Image Credit: Photo by William Hook on Unsplash