So you’ve been working really hard for the past few months. You’re ready distribute your app on Google Play or Apple’s App Store. After testing the waters and making sure that everything is working as intended, it’s now time to decide how you’re going to make money off your app.As a developer, you really only have two choices.
The first option is to sell your app for a fixed price. If you’re doing this, you have to make sure that your app is good enough to justify its price. From the get-go, your app has to be a premium product. Paid apps are usually reserved for developers who already have a portfolio of successful products. A developer’s previous apps are usually used as a reference to determine if his next app is worth its price.
The second option is to offer your app for free. Instead of making money from an upfront payment, free apps make money through the use of in-app advertisements or micro-transactions. While free apps generate less money on the first month of its launch compared to paid apps, the shelf-life of a free app is generally longer. Free apps are also a lot more accessible. Both of these facts factor in to the success of free-to-download apps.
Free apps will always reach a wider audience
Offering your app for free guarantees that it can reach a wider audience. Making your app free enables more people to try out your product. Because your app has access to more users, your app starts to indirectly market itself the moment someone downloads it. Most developers make use of social media to market their apps. When a person downloads an app, that person’s friends can be notified of the download through Facebook, Twitter or other social media sites. Free apps have an easier time going viral because downloading them is as easy as pressing the download button. Users don’t have to hesitate if they should pick up their credit card or not. Because of this, free apps will always have a bigger presence on sites like Facebook or Twitter. With constant updates in social networking sites, and continuous downloads in app stores, free apps are guaranteed to continue being relevant even months after their launch.
Most of the biggest-selling apps are free
In fact, the most successful and viral apps on the internet are still, to this day free to download. These include popular franchises like Temple Run, Angry Birds and Subway Surfers. Developers who originally only published paid apps have also taken notice of this craze. “Plants vs Zombies” was originally a game sold for an upfront payment, but its sequel “Plants vs Zombies 2: It’s About Time” resorted to a free-to-play, micro-transaction based business model. This helped the sequel surpass the lifetime downloads of the first game just months after its launch.
For would-be app developers, the free app model is preferable because of reduced risks and an indirect increase in marketability and social media presence. When users purchase a paid app, they expect a premium and flawless product.