Some years ago, mobile phones were a part of luxury and people used them to either distract themselves or kill time. Years later, things changed as mobile phones slowly became the thread of our routine. Can you believe that we have 6.3 billion active mobile phone users today and the number is only expected to increase? Humans have started depending a lot on phones. Given the growing use of phones, it is not just the phone-selling companies that entered the domain to make money, a lot of other people jumped in with newer technologies and solutions to offer to people. One of the easiest ways a person can earn money today from mobile phones is to make an app that makes money.

mobile app

Statistics for 2021 show that Google App Store has 2.8 million and Apple’s iPhone App Store has 1.96 million mobile apps available for the users. This is enough to tell that the market is huge and the demand of the people for apps is growing immensely. If you are thinking of developing a mobile phone app all by yourself or having a mobile app development company do it for you, it is the ideal time to invest. Let’s take you on a roadmap of some important things you must know before starting with the development process.

How Do Apps Make Money in 2022? Free Apps vs. Paid Apps

While mobile apps have been generating a lot of money in the past few years, people are always doubtful about the success of this industry. According to a market guess, mobile apps are expected to generate an overall revenue of $935 billion by the end of this year. It sounds promising to a lot of people but some have their healthy skepticism towards it. If you are interested to know the way mobile apps will be generating money this year, we have some insights for you.

The mobile applications available in the market can be divided into two major categories; Paid Mobile Apps and Free Mobile Apps. As the name suggests, free mobile apps are the ones that don’t charge their users in exchange for services. On the other hand, paid mobile apps charge the users for the service provided. One can easily tell that free mobile apps have a larger market as compared to the paid mobile market. The reason is simple users get their work done while paying 0 dollars.

Free Apps vs. Paid Apps

Another healthy comparison between free and paid mobile apps is shown in the graph below. The money generated by the paid apps is slightly more than the free apps. According to Google’s Play Store, free apps still have a lot to offer when it comes to generating money. Even though paid apps more money, it does not make that free apps make a lot lesser. It is expected that the number of free apps is going to increase along with the revenue generated by them. It is an awesome idea to invest in developing a free app and generate revenue from it.

Tested App Monetization Options

Mobile apps have become an irreplaceable part of our lives and with the number of apps launched every month, experts suggest that one can make a lot of money through these apps. Did you think it is a silly idea to generate money from a mobile app? Luckily, you now know that it is doable and a lot of people have been doing it for years now. If you have decided to launch an app today and start using it to make money, we guarantee you that it is a decision you would not regret.

App Monetization Options

Whether you have decided to make an app that charges its customers for providing services or provides free services, there are dozens of ways you can monetize it. While some of the ways are tested and verified by many app owners already, the market has some experimental ideas well. Since we know you are eager to get started, here are some of the tested and guaranteed ways you can generate money from your mobile app:


The most common way for free apps to make money is through advertising. It is not too difficult for free app users to find advertisements running on the app. These advertisements can either be through partnerships or a third-party advertising network. Statista’s last year report related to mobile advertising showed that companies spent 280 billion dollars on advertisements on mobile apps. If most of the free apps are doing it, why not you?

Have ads on your mobile app to monetize it. The owner can do so by displaying commercials inside his mobile app. He can also sign up for affiliate marketing and charge third-party ad networks for running ads. In most cases, the app owner runs various ads on his app and is paid for every click a user makes, hits the ad, or installs the app advertised. It does not take a lot of time and effort to run ads on your mobile app and you can make some free money as well.

In-App purchases

A lot of companies treat mobile apps as nothing less than business platforms. If your company has launched an app that is used freely by the customers, you can still bring some business from it. All you need to do is showcase your services and sell your products through your free app. These purchases are known as in-app purchases. This feature keeps your app alive and is helpful for the user while generating more business for you.

In-App purchases

If a user agrees to opt for the service or product showcased by you, your app gets credited directly by the credit card of the user linked with his account either Google Play Store or Apple App Store. This also saves the user the hassle and time to enter all the details manually and pay for the purchase. All it requires is just a click and your service has been sold. However, do not forget to make your product or service look worth that one click.

Referral Marketing

Referral marketing has been one of the most successful marketing techniques for a long time. A lot of companies have been benefiting from it, however, the trend has changed a bit with the growing usage of mobile apps. Companies love to use free mobile apps for their referral marketing apart from the old streams. Referral marketing makes a company connect with the owner of a free app and provides some referral discount codes to the users coming through the app. Every time a user signs in for the service or product with the referral code, the free app’s owner gets paid.

Most of these referral messages are either shown with the help of a pop-up in the app or a message is dropped in the inbox of the users. There are dozens of referral marketing ideas and plans that can be used by free app owners to make a partnership successful and earn well from it. This model of marketing has benefitted many companies and owners of free apps through a collaborative partnership. With a free app registered under your name, you must try this revenue stream.

Consider a freemium model

It is not always easy to provide services to your users without earning anything out of it. In such cases, app owners love to launch their apps with different models offering a different range of services to the users. One of these models allows the app owner to offer freemium, paid, and premium versions of your app. The freemium model offers the customers a basic range of services along with a few premium services giving users an idea about the benefits they can reap from a premium version.

freemium model

The user can opt for the paid and premium version of the app by opting for them through in-app purchases. Doing so helps the app owner to reach out to a huge number of customers who can download the app for free and then sign up for the premium or paid versions by paying for the features. This strategy is used by almost every niche of apps including health, marketing, education, and sports application.

Abonnements for Continuous Revenue

Abonnements are subscriptions that are things all of us are familiar with. All of us have used more apps that run on subscriptions than any other revenue generation method. Not just this strategy is termed as the finest one for monetizing an app, but it is way easier to manage and get results as well. The basic way of implementing this strategy requires the app’s owners to offer a range of content or services for free. After the limit of free content has been reached, the app should be able to present various subscription packages to the user and ask him to choose one to continue using the app.

All of the subscription packages are offered to the users at a rate decided by the app owner. The user opting for a package pays for the app through his credit card linked with the app store. These subscription packages allow the users to run the app with the promised services for a limited amount of time after which the subscription has to be refreshed. This app monetization strategy is used mostly in the niches of cloud services, educational apps, audio, and video streaming, and online news or marketing services.

Collecting and Selling Data

Since companies are working on making their services more personalized by learning more about their customers, the data of their targeted market is worth billions for them. This is what has given birth to a new revenue generation stream for free mobile apps. If you can recall, whenever you sign in to a free app, it requires you to check a box that is asking for your permission to access and save some of your data. That data is not collected without any purpose.

To be able to sell customer data, the free app owners are required to collect the data of their active users and their behavior to share with the company signing a contract with them. This data usually contains contact details of the users like email addresses, personal numbers, social media accounts, and personal preferences fed into the app. This data is not only desired by companies offering services or products but the researchers working on different research papers or projects need this data as well.

The free apps can use the gathered data for selling it to researchers and companies and learn insights from the user journey to make the experience better. It is completely up to the owners of the free apps to either sell the data, use it for their app, or do both.


If you are shocked reading sponsorship in the list of ways to monetize your free app, we don’t blame you. Sponsorship is not a famous or common method for monetizing apps, however, it has a lot of potentials to help you earn well. Two of the things that make it a not-so-favorite method for making money include the stress companies go through to develop it right away and the difficulty in figuring out the target market.


If you manage to get a sponsorship from a company, research its target audience, and develop the sponsorship element right in your app, we guarantee that your life would be changed forever. You can achieve this goal by creating a list of the audience your customer is looking to target and brainstorming various ways to include it in your app. Also, have your final product/app tested by multiple individuals to ensure that you achieve your goals.

Sell Your App

Just in case your free mobile app has gained a lot of attention from the audience you targeted and you don’t want to earn from it in gradual phases, there is still a better way to earn from it. You can always put your app on the market to be sold off to any company or an individual working in the same niche. A lot of companies are always on the lookout for apps that have been in the market for some time and have made their niche rather than developing an app from the scratch. This saves companies time, resources, and effort and they get to reach a huge number of customers easily.

In case you would like to proceed with selling your app, it is suggested that you do market research, put your app on auction and let different companies reach out. This would give you some time to assess different offers and make a well-thought decision. Don’t forget to read about your competitors and assess your market value as well.

Let Origami Studios Help You to Make an App that Makes Money

By now, you must be satisfied with the fact that you can generate good revenue from your free app. Are you thinking about some ideas for your app or have you finalized one already? Whatever the case, if you believe you can’t develop an app on your own, there is nothing for you to be worried about. Origami Studios is here to provide you with flawless mobile app development services for your idea. They house a team of experienced and skilled developers that assess your idea according to the market and provide you with a quote after the first meeting.

Once you sign up to proceed with the development process, you are included at every step of the way to maintain transparency. An app is developed and launched just according to your requirements and the promised time. The software house has launched dozens of successful mobile apps hosted on Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play Store with 5-start ratings. It is always advised for you to visit the portfolio of the company before signing up for a project or jump on an introductory call to know the team better.


You might have heard that people make money from their mobile apps. Well, it is not a myth and you can make some easy money as well. More than 80% of the mobile apps you find today are generating money in various ways. These include advertising, in-app purchases, sponsorships, subscriptions, and more. While some of these options require you to wait for a third party to sign a contract with you, other options allow you to earn independently.

Whatever option to decide to go with, it is guaranteed that none will take you much time to develop. You will not be required to pour our money as well. However, it requires you to be patient enough to give your app some time to start earning for you. You can constantly develop a mobile app yourself and start working to have it generate revenue or have some app development firm like Origami Studios do the magic for you.