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12 Mobile App Monetization Strategies You Should Try in 2024

Mobile app monetization is all the rage. How many times a day do you hear: get it in the app store! 

mobile app monetizaton - Doctor Who App GIF

If it's an Android app, head to the Google Play Store! 

Or, for you Apple diehards—the Apple App Store! 

So why not pivot from a mobile app user to a mobile app developer? 

But before you pour your heart and soul into creating a killer app that users are vibing, let's be real—good vibes don't keep the lights on. 

And with so many mobile marketing options out there, it can take time to figure out where to start. 

That’s where we come in!

Here are 12 epic app monetization strategies that you need to try. 

Whether you're a seasoned app owner looking to boost your revenue or a newbie just starting out, this post is for you. 


Cracks knuckles.

Let's do this.

What Is Mobile App Monetization?

Mobile app monetization is the art of making money from the apps you’ve poured your blood, sweat, and tears into.

It means cleverly converting your creation into a steady ad revenue stream through advertising, in-app purchases, paid app unlocks, subscriptions, affiliate programs, and more.

Yeah, you could slap some banner ads in there and call it a day.

But as the savvy mobile app developer we know you are, that won’t do.

You want app monetization strategies so smooth, users will be throwing cash at you faster than an AI algorithm learning to recognize cat memes.

mobile app monetizaiton - Futurama Fry GIF "shut up and take my money!"

Some Things to Consider When Monetizing Your Mobile App

Before diving into the app monetization nitty-gritty, let's take a step back real quick.

Here are some important things to ponder before you get started.

mobile app monetization - infographic of mobile app monetization statistics
Source: StatistaMobiLoudIdeaUsher

What is the purpose of your app?

What problem does your app solve, and how do those clever bits of code uniquely make app users' lives easier or more awesome?

Is your app for catching Pokémon or identifying rare birds?

A puzzle game or a meditation aid?

A digital personal trainer or obscure indie band discovery engine?

Knowing your app's purpose is key to determining the right app monetization strategy.

For example, an ad-free subscription model works brilliantly for news and entertainment apps.

But stuffing a relaxing meditation app chock full of ads would kinda defeat the whole zen vibe.

Who are your competitors?

Next up—stalk the competition. 

Research apps similar to yours and figure out how they're financially supported.


In-app purchases? 

Affiliate programs for related products?

Some unholy combo?

Cloning your competitor's strategy is, ah, not advised, legally speaking. 

But conducting a competitive analysis is crucial to understanding what works well in your app niche and provides invaluable intel.

What audience are you targeting?

Now, get crystal clear on who your peeps are.

People’s willingness to flash the plastic varies significantly across user groups.

For example, teen gamers might be psyched to grind for hours to earn in-game currency or loot boxes with new characters and levels.

But busy execs aren't about to spend precious time or money when a productivity app only offers core features behind a paywall.

Design an app monetization model around your target audience rather than trying to squeeze blood from a stone. 

Offer various options to entice your user base to happily hand over their credit card deets through one-time unlocks or recurring subscriptions.

Mobile App Monetization Strategies

mobile app monetization - infographic of mobile app monetization strategies

Now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for. What are the best mobile app monetization strategies? 

Here are some tactics to inspire your next profitable move, with pros and cons for each.

1. In-app Advertising 

In-app ads consist of banner ads, video ads, or native ads displayed inside your app. 

With app revenue from in-app ads expected to balloon to a whopping $280 billion by 2025, you can see their appeal. 

Just embed an ad SDK (software development kit) into your app and cha-ching; you’ll automatically display targeted ads. 


  • Crazy Good Results: In-app ads perform 11.4X better than mobile banner ads since the audience is actively engaged in your app.
  • Targeted AF: Users choose to download apps matching their interests, so any ads displayed are super relevant to them.


  • Low Engagement: Despite a captive audience, most app users ignore banner ads, so click-through rates languish around 0.1%.
  • Frenemy Promo: Your competitors’ apps could be advertised in your own! 

So, in-app ads offer easy app revenue potential, albeit relatively small change. 

2. Interstitial Ads

moblie app monetization - picture of smartphone showing interstitial ad example

Banner blindness dulling your mobile app revenue? 

Say hello to the interstitial ad—full-screen ads appearing at natural break points in your app's flow. 

Rather than a pesky rectangle that's easy for app users to ignore, interstitials blast them with an unavoidable ad after finishing a game level or between news article pages. 


  • Killer Engagement: With viewability hitting 100%, user engagement and clicks skyrocket compared to banner ads.
  • High CPM Rates: App developers earn higher CPM rates from advertisers thanks to that premium placement.


  • Google Penalties: Follow placement best practices or risk sanctions.
  • Slower Load Times: Large ads increase loading latency.

So, should you set interstitials to stun? 

Most definitely. 

Just integrate respectfully between natural app transition points.

3. Native Ads

Native ads are like the ninjas of app monetization—they sneak into your app's content flow without users realizing they're there. 

You know those "suggested posts" in your Facebook feed or the "recommended products" on Amazon? 

Yeah, those are native ads in action.


  • Seamless User Experience: Blends right into existing content.
  • High CTR: Native ads generate an average CTR of 0.23%, which is up to 8.8X higher than the average display ad.


So, if you want to cast wider app revenue nets without alienating app users, native ads are the way to go.

Make sure to closely match content forms or risk jarring that delicate user experience. 

4. “Freemium” Subscriptions

mobile app monetizaiton - Spotify freemium subscription example

The freemium subscription model is the digital marketing equivalent of free tasting at your local gelato store.

If you want to indulge in a full scoop of that velvety smooth, frozen confection, you'll have to hand over some cash.

Take Spotify, for example.

The streaming giant grants limited access to get listeners hooked and then dangles an ad-free utopia for $12.99 monthly.

With Spotify converting over 24% of free users into paying subscribers, freemium apps clearly slay when done right.

Hook users with a taste of your app's premium features and you've got yourself a one-way ticket to subscription city. 


  • Highly Scalable: Attract users without hefty marketing budgets.
  • Try Before You Buy: A lower barrier to entry helps convince users your app is worth it.
  • Broader User Base: Entice even frugal customers unwilling to commit to paid apps upfront.


  • Limited Interest in Upsell: Many will never convert to paid.
  • Hurts User Experience: Constant upsell nags may frustrate users.
  • Careful Implementation: Confusing plans turn users off.

Be warned—if you don't strike the right balance between free and premium, you could end up with a bunch of freeloaders who never convert. 

5. Premium Subscriptions

The premium subscription model is a fan favorite among app developers looking to make bank. 

Imagine users falling so hard for your app that they're willing to pay a recurring monthly or yearly fee just to unlock all its epic features. 

And with subscriptions raking in a jaw-dropping $45.6 billion in 2023, it's clear that users are more than happy to fork over their hard-earned dough for quality. 


  • Reliable App Revenue Stream: Consistent cash flow funds future mobile app development.
  • Ensures Longevity: Regular income means regular improvements.


  • Expensive for Users: Price could deter casual users.

Just ensure the subscription’s value surpasses the price for that critical mass to bite.

6. In-App Purchases

In-app purchases (IAPs) are the perfect way for users to customize their experience and get their hands on the really good stuff. 

IAPs aren't just a way to line your pockets with cash. 

They're also a surefire way to keep app users engaged and returning for more. 

Think about it—when users have invested their hard-earned money into your app, they're way more likely to stick around and keep using it. 

mobile app monetization - in-app purchase example

Types of In-app Purchases

  1. Consumables: Temporary one-time boosts such as health, coins, etc.
  2. Non-Consumables: Permanent unlocks such as levels and characters.
  3. Auto-Renewing Subscriptions: Ongoing premium access.


  • Convenience: Easy in-app checkout.
  • Flexibility: Wide range of purchase options.
  • Major Money Maker: Second highest earner behind rewarded ads.


  • "Nickel and Dimed": Constant upsells frustrate users.
  • May Damage Brand: Buyer’s remorse from basic IAPs.

IAPs power app monetization through clever boosts and unlocks. 

Just ensure the value surpasses frustration thresholds. 

7. Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing’s got all the cool kids buzzing.

Partner with other companies and promote their products or services within your app to create a sweet new app revenue stream. 

And the beauty of affiliate marketing is that it's a win-win situation for everyone involved.

App users can access cool new products and services they'll love. And the companies you partner with gain a flood of new customers.

All you have to do is sign up, embed some affiliate links in your app, and start promoting like a boss. 


  • Free for Users: Generate cash without paid app features.
  • Brand Relationships: Promote products aligned to your app niche.


  • High Competition: Major players dominate top offers.
  • Risks Trust: Pushy offers damage perceived integrity.
  • Time-Consuming: Recruiting and managing partners takes effort.

Align your brand first, then go fishing for relevant partners with juicy bounties.

8. SMS Marketing

mobile app monetizaiton - SMS marketing example

Did you know that nearly half of Americans prefer to receive discounts and promos via text message instead of email?

And nudging disengaged users via SMS earns shockingly high 80% click-through rates

That's right—your app users are practically begging you to text them some sweet, sweet deals. 

But here's the thing—you can't just blast out texts willy-nilly. 

The key is consent. 

Keep it short, personal, and timely—catch them on the commute versus date night. 

Finally, know your user base. Tech-savvy teens dig texts while boomers may get their hackles up.


  • Easy Implementation: Collect numbers in-app and blast away!
  • Win Back Users: Re-engage inactive app users.


  • Perceived as Spam: No one likes an unsolicited sales pitch.
  • Hard To Track: Did they even read it before deleting?
  • Not For Everyone: Select audiences that appreciate texts more.

Use it wisely, and you could be looking at some serious app monetization magic.  

9. Email Marketing

If you thought email marketing was dead, think again. 

Despite all the shiny new toys in the digital marketing playground, email is still the OG that's crushing it. 

Nearly 80% of millennials prefer email outreach from brands over social media slog. 

When it comes to driving sales, email is 40 times more effective than Facebook and Twitter combined. 

Now, that's the kind of app revenue boost that could have you sipping piña coladas on your own private island in no time! 

Or in your backyard. But with the top-shelf booze.

The key is quality over quantity. 

Skip the spam and craft compelling emails that deliver value to subscribers. Offer exclusive app deals, insider tips, or entertaining reads matching their interests. 


  • Speeds Up Buying: Outperforms social media.
  • Easy Implementation: Blast collected addresses.


  • Perceived as Spam: Mass blasts could end up in the digital trash for all of eternity.
  • De-values Brand: Low-quality emails seem desperate.

10. Sponsorship Ads

Think of sponsorship ads like having a rich bestie—someone who gets you and wants to help you succeed. 

Let’s say you've got a fitness app with a loyal user base of health-conscious millennials. Then, you may want to partner with a trendy athleisure brand. 

Or you've got a gaming app blowing up the charts. 

How about teaming up with an energy drink company that can fuel your users' epic gaming sessions? 

You can offer your brand partner some seriously prime real estate in your app. 

And in exchange, you'll be raking in some legit sponsorship coin. 


  • Targeted Audience: Brands crave your engaged demographic’s eyeballs.
  • Cross-Promotion Potential: Collaborations unlock new app revenue streams for both parties.


  • Hard to Find Good Match: Ensure the brand’s visions and audiences align first before partnering.

So, should you pursue that corporate sugar daddy? 

If you partner with a brand that truly resonates with your app users, they'll appreciate the relevant tie-ins and exclusive perks. 

11. Data Licensing

Are you sitting on a gold mine of user data gathering digital dust?

Well, it's time to stop sleeping on your data and start cashing in! 

mobile app monetizaiton - Analyzing Toy Story GIF by Giflytics

Just look at navigation apps like Waze—they sell anonymized user data to brands hungry for that sweet hyperlocal advertising action. 

And you know what? 

App users are probably cool with it, too. 

As long as you're upfront about what data you're collecting and how you're using it, most people are happy to share in exchange for a better app experience.

But do it right—none of that shady, behind-the-scenes data-siphoning BS. 

We're talking clear, explicit consent from users. 

Once you've got that green light, though? 

Open the floodgates and let that data flow.


  • Reliable App Revenue Stream: Brands pay handsomely for scarce data sets.
  • Maintain Data Integrity: Control how it gets used.


  • Expensive Overhead: Complex licensing deals require legal.
  • Uber Time-Consuming: Identifying buyers and negotiating deals takes time.
  • Limits Other Models: Can’t monetize data internally.

Just remember—with great data comes great responsibility. 

Use it wisely.

12. Crowdfunding

Are you tired of begging for scraps from big-shot investors who just don't get your vision? 

Then tap the crowd!

Crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter, IndieGoGo, GoFundMe, and Patreon can connect you with an army of armchair investors who are ready to throw their cash at the next big thing. 

It's not just about the money (although, let's be real, that's a pretty sweet perk).

When you launch a crowdfunding campaign, you're building a community of die-hard fans who are invested in your success.

These people will be your app's cheerleaders, your most loyal user base, and your secret weapon for long-term growth. 


  • Massive Audience Reach: Exponentially broader than solo efforts.
  • Cash Infusion: Funds app development costs.
  • Built-in Community: Early adopters provide feedback, promotion, and app revenue.


  • Extremely Competitive: Other shiny apps constantly vie for attention.
  • Brand Building Essential: Convey your unique vision to cut through the noise.

With the right approach and a whole lotta hustle, you could be the next crowdfunding success story. 

Time to Get Paid

Now, it's up to YOU to do the heavy monetization lifting to sculpt your app empire.

Don't overthink which mobile app monetization strategy is the right one. Just pick a few models to test and get cracking.

Remember, the greatest app developers don't wait for the perfect plan—they dive in and learn as they go. 

Don't let analysis paralysis hold you back. 

The future belongs to those bold enough to seize it. 

And with these insider mobile marketing tips, you're poised to cash in on the app gold rush like never before.

Go forth and monetize.

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Kirsty Wilson is a Smart Blogger-certified content marketer and self-taught margarita aficionado. With a passion for Digital Marketing and a knack for crafting captivating Landing Page Copy, she sprinkles her Aussie charm and cheeky humour across lifestyle, travel, and marketing blogs. Currently adventuring through Mexico, she documents her solo travels to inspire fellow Gen-X gals to #SeizeTheDay!