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Anthony Downer
Anthony Downer

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How to Make Money Through Free Mobile Apps?

All of our mobile phones are flooded with various mobile apps, whether it could be games, social media platforms, online marketplaces, or any other. Most of them are free for us. We use them on a daily basis without paying even a penny. According to the reports, The global revenue of mobile apps crossed 400 billion USD in the year 2021, which was reported at 318 billion USD in the year 2020. Have you ever wondered how they make money? How can they make this much money if we are not paying anything?

Even though we are not paying them anything for using their platform, they are constantly improving their services based on our feedback. Well, there are various other monetizations available out there that help them to earn more. So, if you are considering going for mobile app development and thinking about ways to earn more money, here are some of the ways you can make money even though it's a free mobile app.

Ways to make money through Free Mobile Apps

In-App Advertising

In-app advertising is one of the most common ways to earn money through the free app. This might have happened to you when you are scrolling through Instagram and you saw a post labeled " Sponsored " or even when you are playing the game, and there it is a non-skippable video that you have to watch no matter what. These are all or a part of In-app advertising. Those brands pay the mobile app platform to showcase their advertising content to their users. Taking it to the next level, you can even ask users to buy their premium package for the ad-free version. Various mobile app platforms like Spotify and Youtube are earning through this model.

In-App Purchases

This monetization is more popular in the gaming industry. It allows users to pay a fixed price to earn different gaming accessories or virtual currency, extra lifeline, or even unlock the next level without asking for any waiting period. Apart from the gaming industry, various other industries are shifting towards this model. Such as, Google Drive allows users to buy more storage by paying basic charges. Youtube also allows users to buy videos and movies which they can watch for free whenever they want. Canva also has various paid designing templates that users can access after purchase.

You can introduce the freemium model for your mobile app that allows users to browse through your content for free except for some limited content, which only premium members can access. If you want to go for an In-app purchase for your mobile app development, ask your app developers from top software development companies to integrate various payment modes that allow users to use the payment model.


You might have come across this monetization method often. The subscription model in mobile apps allows users to access the app content for free for a limited time and ask users to buy the subscription to further access the mobile app. To make it more convenient for users, you can offer multiple user profiles under one subscription. Various video streaming mobile apps like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Disney+ Hotstar use this monetization model. Along with that, various other social media platforms, dating apps, scanner app and many more earn money through this model.


Sponsorships are more popular among the industry leaders. It demands more effort than other monetization models. You should get the right sponsor that should be effective for your audience base as well. Once you get the right sponsor, you should white label the mobile app, and you can even redesign the app to match their mobile app design. You can choose a revenue split or monthly subscription base model to work out the deal with the sponsors. If everything goes well, you can get more than just the money, such as more traffic from the existing mobile app as well as the sponsor's brand loyalty can help you enhance your client base. It can help you promote the mobile app for users that you have never thought could be beneficial for you.

Affiliation Program

Introducing an affiliation program can help you earn through advertisers. You can allow various businesses to advertise their products or services on your platform, and you can affiliate the advertisements through performance-based advertising models. There are various affiliate models available to sort out the earnings through advertisements. You can go for cost per click, app installation, or revenue sharing model. Cost per click allows you to earn based on users' clicks on the ads, whereas app installation is an action-based model; it allows you to earn only if the user clicks on the advertisement and downloads that advertised mobile app. The revenue-sharing model allows you to earn a certain percentage of the advertiser's revenue through your scanner mobile app.

Selling Merchandise

This monetization model is widely famous among mobile e-commerce apps. Various YouTubers, celebrities, and even influencers have their own merchandise. You can reach out to them, allowing a platform where they can sell their merchandise to the end-users. You can make their merchandise available to buy exclusively for your users. You will provide them with a platform to reach out to the right audience and earn a certain percentage of the generated revenue through your mobile app.


Various people out there spend money without thinking if it's for the right cause. Crowdfunding is a monetization model perfectly suitable for non-profit organization apps, religion-based apps, and so on that serve the right cause without any alternative intention. If your mobile app supports the right cause, you can utilize this monetization model. It can help the people around the globe to come together as a helping hand to make the world a better place.


If you think that only paid mobile apps can help you earn, I hope we have cleared up all your doubts. It is not necessary to pick only one monetization method; you can choose multiple them based on your requirements. But keep in mind to get a clear idea about app development requirements before you choose the monetization model as not all of them are suitable for every mobile app out there.

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