How Free Apps Make Money 2024: Guide To Earn Money With Apps

We all like free things, and there’s no denying the convenience of free apps.

Whereas you once needed to buy a full-fledged software suite to perform a certain task, nowadays that same app can often be found for free on your phone or tablet.

But How Free Apps Make Money for companies when their product is given away for nothing? Join as they explore the various strategies used by developers to turn even their ‘free’ apps into steady streams of revenue.

Overview: How Free Apps Make Money 

how free apps make money
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There are a few different ways that free apps can make money. One of the most popular methods is through in-app purchases, which allow users to purchase additional features or items within an app.

For instance, you could offer users the ability to unlock new levels, characters or other content for a fee. Similarly, you could release special versions of the app that offer more features for a one-time fee.

Another popular method is to offer ads within your app. How Free Apps Make Money This could be banners, interstitials, videos or even rewarded videos; all of which can generate revenue from users viewing and interacting with them.

While this option may not be as lucrative as in-app purchases, it does allow you to reach a wider audience and can provide a steady stream of revenue for your app.

Finally, you could also look into affiliate programs or working with sponsors. With these methods, you could get paid for promoting products and services within your app.

This is a great way to make money if you have an established user base, as it allows you to monetize your existing users without charging them for anything.

In general, free apps can make money in a variety of ways. How Free Apps Make Money Depending on the specific needs and goals of your app, you may be able to generate income through any combination of these methods.

With some research and experimentation, you should be able to find the right approach that works best for you.

And don’t forget: there’s always the chance to upgrade users to a premium version of your app down the line.

Most Popular Revenue Models:

Strategies to make free apps
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1. Subscriptions:

This model allows users to pay a fixed fee for a subscription package that promises the user access to various services and benefits within the app.

These can range from premium content or added features, or discounts on goods or services available within the app. It is important to note that customers are more likely to subscribe if they feel they are getting a good deal and that the benefits outweigh the costs.

2. Freemium:

This model allows users to enjoy basic features of an app for free, but to access premium content or services they must upgrade through a paid subscription.

The idea is to entice users with value-added services that they can only get if they upgrade.

3. In-App Purchases:

This model offers users the ability to purchase items from within the app itself, such as virtual currency, additional levels or extra lives in a game, or bonus content such as exclusive music tracks or videos.

It is important to ensure that the purchases are clearly labeled and priced competitively.

4. Advertising:

This model involves displaying ads within the app that users can view in exchange for rewards or points. It is important to ensure that the ads are relevant to your user-base, as well as being unobtrusive and non-intrusive.

Ads should be clearly labeled and easy to opt out of, if desired.

5. Sponsorship:

This model involves partnering with a brand or company to have their products or services featured within the app, in exchange for a fee or percentage of revenue.

It is important to make sure that the content and products promoted are relevant to your users and do not detract from their experience.

6. Affiliate Marketing:

This model involves partnering with other companies or websites to promote their products or services within the app in exchange for a commission.

It is important to make sure that the products or services being promoted are relevant to your user-base and do not detract from their experience.

7. White-Label Solutions:

This model involves taking an existing app and “white label” it with a different brand or company. The end user will be unaware that the app was developed by another company, and all revenue generated goes to the white-labeler.

8. Physical Goods:

This model involves allowing users to purchase physical goods from within the app, such as clothing or accessories.

It is important to ensure that the products are of good quality and clearly labeled with appropriate prices.

9. Digital Goods:

This model involves allowing users to purchase digital goods such as music, videos, or books from within the app.

It is important to ensure that all purchases are securely processed and customers have access to their content immediately after purchase.

10. Crowdfunding:

This model involves allowing users to donate money towards a project or cause, either through in-app donations or via an external platform such as Kickstarter.

It is important to ensure that all funds raised are used for their intended purpose and the donors have access to updates about how their contributions have been used.

11. Data Monetization:

This model involves collecting user data such as demographics, usage habits, or location and then selling this data to third-party companies.

How Free Apps Make Money, It is important to ensure that the data is collected securely and with the user’s consent.


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There are several different ways for app developers to monetize online their free apps, including in-app purchases, advertising and subscriptions. 

In-app Purchases: In-app purchases provide a way for app developers to How Free Apps Make Money offer additional content and services within their existing apps.

This can include anything from extra levels or characters in gaming apps, to downloadable content in a podcast app.

In-app purchases can be used to offer users access to premium features and content, allowing developers to monetize the free version of their apps.


Advertising is one of the most commonly used methods for free app developers to generate revenue. Ads are usually placed within the app itself or as part of the app loading process.

Ads can be static images or videos, or they can be interactive, offering users the chance to participate in surveys and polls or receive other incentives for engaging with them.

Advertising networks often pay developers on a cost-per-click basis, meaning that developers receive payment each time an ad is clicked.


For certain types of apps, subscription plans can be a great way to monetize them. Subscriptions offer users access to premium content and features, How Free Apps Make Money while developers receive regular payments from their customers.

This type of revenue model is particularly popular amongst music streaming apps and the gaming industry, where users pay a subscription fee in exchange for access to exclusive content. 

Overall, free apps offer a great way for developers to earn money from their work.

App developers have a range of options available to them when it comes to monetizing their free apps, including in-app purchases, advertising and subscriptions.

By implementing one or more of these strategies, app developers can ensure that their hard work pays off. 

Pros and Cons:

Pros and Cons of Free apps
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1. Wider Customer Reach:

2. More Relevant Ads:

3. Ability to Generate Income:

4. Increased Engagement:

5. Easier App Discovery:

6. More Opportunities for Brand Recognition:

7. Cost Savings:

8. Easier Customer Acquisition:

9. Easier to Update and Improve:

10. Easier Distribution:


1. Technical complexity

2. Limited Opportunities for Expansion

3. Data Privacy Risks

4. Less Reliable Revenue Stream

6. Negative User Experience

7. Limited Pricing Flexibility

8. Difficult to Measure ROI

9. Lack of Control

10. Dependence on Advertising Market

FAQs: How Free Apps Make Money 

😉Q: How do free apps make money?

A: There are a few different methods that free apps use to generate revenue. These include advertising, in-app purchases, subscriptions, sponsored content, and affiliate programs. Advertising involves displaying ads within the app itself or linking to external sponsors. In-app purchases allow users to purchase virtual goods or services within the app. Subscriptions give access to content, features, or services on a recurring basis, often with discounts for long-term plans. Sponsored content involves working with partners to display their products and services within the app. Affiliate programs pay based on referrals of users to third-party sites. Each of these methods has its own unique advantages and disadvantages, so it is important to research which one is best for the app's specific needs.

🎁Q: Are there any other ways to monetize free apps?

A: Yes, there are some additional options for monetizing free apps such as utilizing user data and offering premium versions of the app. Many apps use user data to inform their strategy, such as viewing demographics and user behavior. This can help the app better target its audience, resulting in increased revenue. Additionally, offering a premium version of the free app can be an effective way to generate additional income. The free version will typically offer limited features, while users are required to pay for access to the full version with all features enabled.

🤞Q: How can I measure the success of my monetization strategy?

A: Tracking metrics is key to understanding how successful your monetization efforts are. Measuring metrics such as revenue, user engagement, and downloads will help you evaluate different strategies and decide which ones are most effective for your app. Additionally, it is important to monitor how users are engaging with your monetization options to ensure that they are being used in the way intended.

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Conclusion: How Free Apps Make Money 

Free apps make money in a variety of ways, business from advertising to charging for premium features or content.

Developers who are looking to monetize their app should carefully consider the best way to do so given their target audience and the nature of their app.

Some users are willing to pay for an ad-free experience, How Free Apps Make Money while others don’t mind ads as long as they’re not intrusive.

Ultimately, it’s up to the developer to decide what will work best for their app and their users.

About aishwar

I am the Founder of GizmoBase and also cofounder at, a digital marketing agency that specializes in content and data-driven SEO. With over 7 years of experience in digital marketing and affiliate marketing, I have developed a deep understanding of various domains, including ecommerce, startups, social media marketing, make money online, affiliate marketing, and human capital management. I am passionate about sharing my knowledge and expertise in these areas to help businesses thrive.

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