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Most effective ways of earning revenue from your free gaming app

Getting as many users to download your app may be a must-have, but if you are looking to earn money from mobile apps, here's how you can monetize your free game.

Vishal Gumber, Blogger

August 16, 2013

3 Min Read

Making a great app and simply focusing on growing your user base seems good enough. But you need revenue as well, unless a magic app credits a hefty cheque into your account every month, while you just stare at the greatness of your app. Well such a magic app hasn’t come out yet, so here are cool ways to monetize your apps:

Earn revenue on free gaming apps


Freemium upsell

So, you have your free app ready. Next, what you got to do is bring out another version of your app that is paid. The free app works like a feeder to feed into the audience what type of app (with basic features) you are offering.

The full version has all the features and functionalities in it. Embed a link into your free app that links the user to the app store wherein they can find the other version. This ‘other’ version could be the ‘Lite’ or ‘HD’ version.


In-App Purchases

These do act as temptresses. Unlocking a new character, a new vehicle or buying weapons or portions are instances of in-app purchases that can be incorporated into the gaming app. Here, the developer gets the app in the market with a base set of features (say, 2 characters with limited power). Then the app can be expanded by allowing the user to make in-app purchases for extended features (more powerful characters).

Developers can opt from either of the two models to embed an in-app: the server product model (wherein an external server feeds data to the app) and the built-in product model (wherein the extended features are built into the app, and they are unlocked once the user purchases it).


Simplicity and fun

A startup with only two titles in Apple’s app store (Clash of Cans and Hay day) made $104 million in this year’s quarter. Supercell, with daily revenue of at least $2.4 million has surely made a prominent mark in the app market by opting for simplicity and fun.

It’s CEO and co-founder Ilkka Paananen, shares that the best way to earn revenue is to stop pondering about making money. It’s about making something fun that users will love. These games attract players because they are simple to play, while they capture basic human emotions.

Players can buy gems, or spend to speedup egg production or upgrade their barn.  It’s not a ‘pay-to-win’ design; committed game play can make one win. And this committed game play is a result of the game’s high score on the fun and simplicity factor.


Ads: need them!

No matter how much most people dislike the ads that merrily move at the bottom of the game screen, it is a good choice to have ads in the game. The lucrative ad networks are iAds and Admob. Typically, a CPM (cost per thousand impressions) is below one dollar and a CPC (cost per click) goes upto a few green notes.


CPI Networking

Cost Per Install (CPI) is a mechanism wherein you pay per install. For instance, Chartboost is the third party that has the software, which you install into the app. This appears as a pop-up in games, prompting one to get the game through the words ‘Get It Now’.

The pricing is about $0.80-$3.00. So, if you want to promote your app, you will be paying the third party this price every time somebody installs your app. The advantage of CPI is that it is cheaper than using the advertising network.

Making revenue is quite tactful. Incorporating the above ways and integrating various paths gives you a broader scope and reach. So, even after your app is downloaded, you continue to earn revenue based on the other aspects you have worked upon. Now this is one good business model!



Image source: http://www.freedigitalphotos.net


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