iOS App Monetization

An app monetization strategy is a plan for generating revenue from an app. Monetization is the single biggest challenge for iOS developers, who face fierce competition from thousands of high quality apps.

In this tutorial/blog, you will learn strategies for monetizing your app that are cost-effective and don't require a lot of downloads in order to start seeing some revenue.

1) In-App Purchases
Offering a free app with in-app purchases is a common monetization strategy for iOS apps. With this approach, you can attract a large number of users by offering the app for free and then monetize those users by selling them additional content, features, or virtual goods within the app.

To effectively monetize an app using in-app purchases, it's important to consider the following:
- Offer valuable and desirable content or features: In-app purchases should add value to the user's experience and be something that users are willing to pay for.
- Use in-app marketing to promote purchases: Use in-app marketing techniques, such as prompts or notifications, to promote in-app purchases to users.
- Consider offering a mix of one-time and recurring purchases: Both one-time and recurring purchases can be effective at monetizing an app, so consider offering a mix of both.

There are a few things to avoid when using in-app purchases to monetize an iOS app:
- Don't make the app too dependent on in-app purchases: While in-app purchases can be a useful monetization strategy, relying too heavily on them can lead to a negative user experience.
- Don't use manipulative or deceptive practices to sell in-app purchases: Be transparent with users about what they are purchasing and avoid using manipulative or deceptive practices to sell in-app purchases.

We take care of the whole process to help you make your app a success. You can have in-app purchases, auto-renewable subscriptions, and a strategy tailored to your own app. Don't hesitate to contact us for a free consultation.

2) One-Time Fee (Paid App)

Selling an iOS app for a one-time fee is a straightforward monetization strategy. With this approach, users pay a fee to download and use the app. The fee is typically paid upfront, although some apps may offer a trial period or a limited-feature version that can be upgraded for a fee.

There are a few things to consider when using this monetization strategy:
- Set a competitive price: The price of the app should be competitive with similar apps on the market, taking into account the app's features, target audience, and the overall app market.
- Promote the app: Use marketing and advertising techniques to promote the app and attract users. The great news about this strategy is that you know upfront how much to spend per app install. For example: If your app costs $2.99, then you can spend up to $1.50 per app install, leaving you with $0.50 profit after Apple's cut.
- Monitor market trends: Keep an eye on market trends and adjust the app's pricing as needed to stay competitive. If you offer a price drop, from $2.99 to $1.99 for 3 days, then during that time, a lot of websites may promote this offer, giving you a bump in free marketing. The price drop is a great strategy.

This is a great opportunity to make money right away if you have an interesting app. You only need a few downloads a day in order to make $500 a month. Check the Top Paid charts and categories on the App Store.

3) Licensing

Licensing refers to the practice of selling the rights to use an app to another company or organization. This can be a good monetization strategy for developers who have created a specialized app that has a narrow target audience, such as a productivity tool for a specific industry.

There are a few different ways that developers can license their apps:
- One-time license: A company can pay a one-time fee to use the app for a specified period of time.
- Annual license: A company can pay an annual fee to use the app on an ongoing basis.

Here are a few examples of apps that could be suitable for licensing:
- A project management tool for construction companies.
- A beauty salon management and appointment booking app.
- A inventory management app for small businesses.

In each of these cases, the app is designed to meet the specific needs of a particular industry or type of organization, and it may be more cost-effective for a company to license the app rather than develop its own in-house solution.

4) Affiliate

Affiliate marketing is a monetization strategy in which you will include affiliate links to products or services within their app and earns a commission on any sales made through those links.

To participate in affiliate marketing, a developer will typically sign up with an affiliate network, which will provide them with access to a variety of products and services that they can promote within their app. When a user clicks on one of the affiliate links and makes a purchase, the developer will earn a commission on the sale.

Here are a few examples of how you might use affiliate marketing in your app:
- A recipe app that includes affiliate links to ingredients or kitchen appliances that are mentioned in the recipes. You can check our Cookbook app for example, which is fully integrated with Firebase.
- A travel app that includes affiliate links to hotels and flights that are featured in the app.
- A shopping app that includes affiliate links to products that are featured in the app.

In each of these cases, the developer is able to monetize their app by earning a commission on any sales made through the affiliate links. There are many affiliate programs available to developers who want to use affiliate marketing to monetize their apps. Some popular affiliate programs include: CJ Affiliate, eBay Partner Network, ShareASale, ClickBank, etc.

5) Ads

Displaying advertisements within an app is a common monetization strategy for developers. Revenue is determined by a CPM pricing model. The CPM stands for cost per mille (thousand) impressions. The value of impressions varies by the audience and market. An app in the financial services industry is likely to have a higher CPM value than on with a low price point, tight margin product. The equation for revenue is simply the number of impressions multiplied by the CPM, and then divide by 1,000. If you have 10,000 impressions and your CPM value for an ad unit stands at $8 dollars, the revenue generated is $800 dollars.

There are a few different ways that developers can earn revenue through ads:
- Pay-per-click (PPC): With PPC ads, the developer earns a small amount of money each time a user clicks on an ad. This is a popular option for developers who have a large user base and are able to drive a lot of traffic to the ads.
- Pay-per-impression (PPI): With PPI ads, the developer earns a small amount of money each time an ad is displayed to a user, regardless of whether the user clicks on the ad. This can be a good option for developers who have a smaller user base or whose users are not as engaged with the ads.
- Cost-per-action (CPA): With CPA ads, the developer earns a commission each time a user takes a specific action, such as making a purchase or signing up for a newsletter. This can be a more lucrative option, but it requires users to be more engaged with the ads.

Some of the most popular mobile ad networks include: Google AdMob, Facebook Audience Network, InMobi, AdColony, etc.


In conclusion, there are many different strategies that developers can use to monetize their iOS apps. Some options include selling the app for a one-time fee, offering in-app purchases, displaying advertisements, using a subscription model, participating in affiliate marketing, and licensing the app to other companies or organizations.

Which monetization strategy is the most effective will depend on the nature of the app, the target audience, and a variety of other factors. It may be helpful to try out different strategies and see which one works best for your app. It's also a good idea to keep up with industry trends and be open to experimenting with new monetization methods as they emerge.

If you want to make more money with your app, don't hesitate to send us an email at We can help you create the most effective monetization strategy for your own iOS app.

Thank you for reading, and we wish you a lot of success with your app!