The App Store and the Google Play Store account for hundreds of thousands of mobile applications that integrate their respective catalogs for users in the Indian market. Among them, you can find productivity apps, games, messaging tools or style complement for your terminals. Whatever their function, they all have something in common: they have been created by Indian app developers
who seek to make money from their work by meeting a need or providing services for a particular market and niche.
However, getting monetized and making money with a mobile application is not as easy as it seems. Not surprisingly, in consumer awareness of most users have already implemented the free model when installing the apps, making it difficult to pay for your download, but the advertising 'in-app' (this is, ads that are displayed as a banner while the person is using the application) does not end up being economically viable for many Indian app developers, since it requires an extremely large user base to yield returns.
So, how can an Indian app developer see his effort, vision, and dedication at the time of putting his application on the market? Is it possible to really make money with mobile apps
? Some tips will be given and explained here.
Looking for the market niche
Before considering the best ways to make a mobile application profitable, you must ensure that there is an audience and interest in it since otherwise, any modality you opt for will inevitably result in failure. Therefore, trying to develop an application that performs the same functions as a thousand already available in the official iOS and Android stores is not only an unnecessary effort, but also compromises the economic viability of the project, since each new app that is added to the battle tends to break up and further fragment the income pie available for that segment.
For that reason, and unless your app really contributes a differential value in front of the already existing proposals, the first of all you have to look for a need that is not yet covered and where there may be a source of income (or an interest on the part of the advertisers). So, analyzing the existing offer and what are your sources of income should be your first step before undertaking any project in this field.
Free or paid app?
Once you have determined that there is room for your app and that there are consumers and/or advertisers
willing to invest their money in it, it is time for the million dollar question, if you must offer your app for free or if, on the contrary, you want to charge for your download.
Both modalities have their advantages and disadvantages, with which it will be up to each Indian app developer to assess the different factors and make a decision. In the case of offering the application at zero cost, you will make the user base grow much faster, thus favoring the capture of new consumers and accelerating the success of the app in the respective store. However, in these cases, you will not obtain direct benefits for the production of the app, with which you will have to opt for other forms of monetization to make the app profitable.
The main argument for charging for the download of the app
is the immediate obtaining of an economic benefit for each new user. But you must bear in mind that most of the apps available in the market are free, so if any of them offers the same or similar functionalities that you will see yourself plunged into the abyss. Also, your growth will be less and it is practically impossible that you obtain the same penetration in the mass of consumers as free apps.
In this sense, the general recommendation is to maintain the app at no cost to achieve its popularization and massive adoption, unless it is a very specialized or professional application, which does not have free alternatives and offers such high added value and users who are willing to pay a good price for it.
For the undecided, there is an intermediate option, known as the freemium model. It is always possible for Indian app developers to develop a free app with which to capture the interest of many users in India, with advanced functionalities or without limitations, which does have an associated cost per download, which will be aimed at users who have tried the free app but who want to get more from your app.
How to monetize a free application
Although it may seem like a dichotomy, it is possible to obtain succulent income with a free priori application. The first option in this line is the 'in-app' purchases, that is, the payment for add-ons or additions within the application itself. In the case of mobile games it is usually one of the most used modalities, since it manages to attract a large number of users by not charging them for downloading the app, but it charges the most addicted to the game when they want to recover lives or get weapons or special vehicles, not accessible without payment.
In this line, Indian app developers can choose to produce their own lines of management and payment gateways or opt for third-party platforms that offer these purchases 'in-app' as a service, easily implemented by a code in the same application.
Mobile advertising: the eternal promise
Of course, you should not miss the mobile advertising
, a method by which users will view some banners during the time they use the app, reverting for you a direct benefit either for each user that the ad impacts or for the clicks that do in it. In this way, the consumer should not make any payment at any time of the process, although in exchange you may see the use of the application interrupted by the appearance of an advertisement, at any time.
Currently, there are numerous mobile advertising platforms for applications, such as iAd in the case of Apple, AdMob, Millennial Media (AOL) or Ad Colony, which specializes in videos. The developer only has to implement a code within their application so that the corresponding ads are automatically displayed.
In the case of AdMob
, you are talking about the advertising network of the same Google for these specific environments. In its favor it is simple to use SDK, its synchronization with other advertising tools of the multinational itself (as, for example, AdSense web ads) and its multiplatform capacity, since its ads are displayed in Android, iOS apps and even Windows Phone.
The big problem of advertising in applications is its low profitability. So, it is one of the least profitable modalities of the different ones that the mobile applications market has, since if you do not generate immense traffic you will not obtain income that will allow you become the next Mark Zuckerberg, but to compensate for the effort and the dedication invested in the development of the application.
Not everything revolves around money
The direct monetization of the application through third-party platforms or by direct payment by users of the app is not the only ways to earn money with mobile apps.
In that sense, there is always the possibility of managing the sponsorship of the application with a large company, as long as the object and purpose of the app fit with the values and strategies that the company is currently developing. Likewise, the application can be used as a branding tool with which to strengthen another business, digital or not, that benefits from the capture of 'leads' for its business generation. Without forgetting that, if the technology that underlies your app is innovative enough, it can be acquired by a major player in the market who wants to incorporate it into their own services.