Are you also looking for ways to make money from free apps?  Then we have sorted out all your worries. This blog covers all strategies that can help you to make money from your apps. You need to use the strategy that best fits your business model or plan to generate profits.

According to the research conducted by Statista, in 2022, 96.8% of android apps are free and only 3.2% of android apps are paid on Google Playstore. This clearly states that many consumers prefer free apps in comparison to paid apps. 


Many consumers do not purchase a premium subscription as most of them is willing to use free accessible materials. Therefore, most app owners grant free access to resources in order to serve such users. Here advertising plays its role and helps such website owners to generate high revenue. 

How Advertising helps apps to make money?

You can run paid adverts to make money. In other words, you can place adverts for different brands or agencies and can charge them to make money. You will also be paid when a user downloads an application from your app after clicking on an advertisement. Pay-per-click is another name for this. It is a very useful strategy that helps to direct traffic to other websites in a way that both parties are at an advantage. 

Alternatively, you might use pay-per-impression. Although this tactic is not mostly used as here consumers have to pay as per the number of times their ad is displayed on the owner’s app. You may also run brand campaigns on your app. These campaigns will increase brand awareness and you will get paid. 

These are some ways to earn money from a third party. Now let's see the types of display ads. There are several types of ads:

Interstitial ads

Interstitial ads are mainly used on mobile devices and applications. They are used to keep the users engaged with the app. These ads are displayed in mobile game applications, where they keep on appearing when users move from one level to another.

As a digital marketer, using strategies like mobile integration and interstitial ads can help to expand your market reach.

Banner ads

This is the most famous type of display ad that is used by many social media channels and forums. Banner ads follow the traditional pattern of shape and size that includes using landscraper, skyscrapers, and square sizes. It often uses text and images together to increase engagement from the target audience.

In-app video ads

These are also referred to as rewarded videos. For example, if you are watching a video ad completely so you can unlock a feature on that app. This is the most common type of display ad that is used to earn revenue.

Native ads

Native ads are one of the best content marketing strategies as it helps to display content naturally on websites. In this type, content creators come up with a way that consumers feel connected with the brand or the product itself. This helps to convert leads into customers. Native display ads include:

  • Links leading to the website page
  • Sponsored search results
  • Promoted social media posts


Animations are very effective when it comes to grabbing the attention of consumers. Animated ads use a combination of video, audio, and text to promote a brand or a product. Thus, it results in increased engagement which gradually leads to increased sales. These ads are also used to make an emotional bond with the target audience that brings brand loyalty to the brand.

Interactive content

Interactive content is anything that is engaging for the audience. This mostly involves text, images, graphics, and other useful features which can keep the audience engaged. They can be very beneficial to increase product awareness as they show product features that customers are attracted to. They are also very useful in educating customers on how a product adds value to their life.


Infographics are a type of display advertisement that combines text and visuals to make viewers aware of a certain subject, concept, or product. For instance, infographics may be used in the advertising strategy of a pharmaceutical company to interact with, inform, and form relationships with its target markets. 

For business websites that concentrate on informing and educating visitors about products or services, integrating infographics into an online advertising plan can be helpful.

Expanding ads

Display ads that consumers can expand past the first size that they see on a website are known as expanding ads. Expanding adverts are frequently set up by marketers to start based on user behavior and intent.

 An example of expanding advertisement is a website that begins as a modest display within the content page during the invitation phase. The display ad enlarges to take up more space on the page as users engage with the content, drawing viewers' attention for a variety of reasons.

Lightbox display ads

Lightbox display advertising is a unique type of display advertisement that Google created in the past. These display advertising are comparable to expandable display ads, which need user interaction before initiating full-screen website content. Lightbox advertising, as opposed to conventional expanding ads, can include video, audio, text, animations, and other features to increase audience interaction online. 

Pop-up displays

Pop-up displays refer to offerings, signing up for services, or buying products from a business or brand by using a pop-up content feature that is most frequently found on websites. For instance, a company that provides online services to its consumers may use pop-up ads to increase engagement.

 Pop-up ads are also useful to make potential customers subscribe to the email list in order to learn more about its offerings. In this advertisement type, the company modifies its website so that a pop-up ad appears after a little period of time, urging readers to subscribe to its email newsletters.          

In-App Purchases

The in-app purchase models offer several products and services for sale on their app. These include premium content that adds additional value to the consumer. Through these in-app purchases, you can generate revenue.

To persuade consumers to buy, you can offer a sale for a limited time period. You can add rewards with each purchase. This will result in repeat purchases by the customers and will increase the customer retention ratio.

For example, Romani follow this strategy and has been successful. They have a free app to listen to and share audio. On the other hand, it gave users an option to purchase value-added material that includes tour guide audio and paid stories.

Freemium apps

Freemium apps are the one that has both, free and premium content. This is because not every user is willing to pay to access the website content when they can easily shift to other websites and can find the content material they are looking for. 

Therefore, to stand out in the growing competition some websites follow this monetization strategy where they assess both customers. Such websites have some free-access content and some premium content that is only available for premium users.

The most common freemium example is Spotify,  where users can listen to premium songs after they watch the display ad. They have a limited number of skips on songs they want to listen to, after using those they have to watch the display ads.

Freemium helps to increase customers by allowing them to use or test a particular part of the service without paying for it. By doing so, your app also reaches its market reach through customer referrals.

Collecting, and Selling Data

This is the easiest way to earn money from free apps. As apps have software that store and track consumer behavior. This data is used by researchers and marketers to study consumers so as to create a relevant strategy. It also helps to identify and understand customers' needs. Therefore, you can sell this behavioral data to companies and researchers to earn money.

Referral Marketing

Referral marketing is when you promote a third-party product or service to generate revenue. Publishers use a number of referral marketing strategies that include:

  • Cost per acquisition(CPA):

It is also known as cost per action. By using this model, you can promote other products or services through pop-up ads or you can also advertise in an in-app store to increase revenue.

  • Cost per click (CPC):

          In this model, the revenue is based on the number of clicks on the ad displayed.

  • Cost per view (CPV):

 This type of revenue is based on the number of viewers for an ad or video. 

  • Cost per install (CPI):

CPI is revenue generated when a user installed an application that is advertised on your website.

Affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing is another monetization strategy and is based on commission. It is when you promote someone’s else product or service on your website page and when a product is purchased so you get the commission.

You can do effective affiliate marketing only when you identify and classify users based on their demographics. Then you recommend some products and services that match their profiles. An example of successful affiliate marketing is Amazon.


In order to thrive in today’s business world, it is important for any business to generate a good ROI. Therefore, even if we have developed a free app it is essential for us to come up with ways that can help to earn money.

Although there are many monetization strategies, choosing the right strategy as per your business plan can only be effective. To choose a strategy you must consider your business goal and objective. Then align it with your monetization strategy in a way that best serves your target audience. 

We have discussed the strategies that can help you monetize your app and can help you to earn money. You can use these and can start up with a free app.


How to choose an app monetization strategy?

  • Understand the type of your app
  • Do a proper analysis of the competition
  • Identify the target audience

What tips can I follow to make money from free apps?

  • Choose a monetization plan that aligns with your business proposal and is relevant to your target audience
  • Use digital marketing tactics to attract and engage your target audience
  • Select a monetization strategy that not only generates revenue but also delivers value to the customer.
  • Do a competitor analysis to learn and understand the market.
  • Keep a track of your ROI from past and current strategies and make a comparison.

How can I choose my monetization strategy with an example?

You have to choose your monetization strategy depending on your target audience and your location. You need to ensure that your strategy serves your audience. 

For example, if you have an educational app you can use the freemium model where you can have free and premium content so you do not lose any of your customers.

What are the useful monetization strategies?

  • In-app purchases
  • Affiliate marketing
  • Subscription
  • Freemium model
  •  Online sales
  • Referral marketing
  • Sponsorships

What are the benefits of using monetization strategies?

  • Increase engagement
  • Maximize your reach
  • Revenue optimization
  • Increase efficiency
  • cost - saving

 What are the recent trends in mobile app monetization?

  • Affiliate Marketing
  • Merchandizing
  • Advertising
  • Content Paywalling
  • Omnichannel Marketing
  • Donations

What are the challenges to monetarize your app?

  • Intense competition 
  • Opportunities in the new, unfamiliar market
  • Requires new skills and expertise

What are the most used display ads in-app monetization?

  • Rewarded video ad
  • Interstitial ads
  • Banner ad

What tools can be used to monetize free apps?

  • AdsCompass
  • AdMob
  • Amazon Publisher Services
  • AppLovin
  • Digital Turbine
  • InMobi
  • MobFox
  • Moburst
  • RevX
  • Smaato
  • Tapjoy
  • Unity Ads
  • Yahoo App Publishing
  • Zoomd

Is Free Trial and Freemium the same?

Free trial is not freemium as free trials are time-limited that allow users to use and test a particular product or service for a limited time period. Whereas, freemium models allow users to access the application as long as they want.