Exploring The Best App Revenue Models In 2024

In the rapidly evolving landscape of mobile applications, choosing the right revenue model can significantly impact the success of your app. From freemium to subscriptions, developers today have a plethora of options to monetize their creations. In this guide, we’ll dive into the various app revenue models, analyzing their advantages, disadvantages, and suitability for different types of apps.

1. Freemium Model

The freemium model continues to dominate the app economy, offering free downloads with optional in-app purchases (IAPs) for enhanced features or content. It attracts a large user base upfront, leveraging the psychology of free to acquire users who are then monetized through IAPs. This model is effective for gaming apps and productivity tools alike, as users can try before they buy.


  • Wide user acquisition due to free entry point.
  • Flexible monetization through IAPs.
  • High engagement levels.


  • Need for compelling content to drive IAPs.
  • Risk of negative user perception if monetization feels exploitative.

2. Subscription Model

With a steady rise in popularity, especially for content-driven apps like streaming platforms and news outlets, subscriptions offer recurring revenue. Users pay a periodic fee (monthly or annually) to access premium content or features. This model fosters customer loyalty and ensures a predictable revenue stream.


  • Predictable revenue.
  • High user engagement and retention.
  • Opportunities for personalization and targeted marketing.


  • Users may hesitate to subscribe without a trial period.
  • High competition in subscription-based apps.

3. Advertising Model

Advertising remains a staple in the app revenue toolkit, where developers earn revenue through displaying ads to users. This model is suitable for apps with a large user base or frequent usage, as it monetizes user attention rather than direct spending.


  • Low barrier to entry for users.
  • Potentially high revenue from high engagement apps.
  • Multiple ad formats (e.g., banners, interstitials, rewarded videos).


  • Potential user experience issues.
  • Revenue can be inconsistent based on ad inventory and user behavior.

4. Pay Per Download (Paid Apps)

While less common today, paid apps still appeal in niche markets where users are willing to pay upfront for quality content or utility. This model eliminates reliance on in-app purchases or ads, providing immediate revenue per download.


  • Direct revenue per download.
  • No reliance on IAPs or ads.
  • Lower dependency on user engagement.


  • Limited market due to reluctance to pay upfront.
  • Competing with free alternatives.

Choosing the Right Model for Your App

Selecting the appropriate revenue model requires consideration of your app’s value proposition, target audience, and competitive landscape. Analyze the following factors:

  • User Engagement: How frequently do users engage with your app?
  • Content Type: Is your app content-driven or functionality-focused?
  • Competition: What revenue models do your competitors use?
  • User Base: What is the demographic profile of your user base?

In conclusion, the app revenue model you choose should align with your app’s goals and user expectations. While the freemium model is versatile and widely adopted, subscription models offer predictability and recurring revenue. Advertising and paid models cater to specific use cases, leveraging different aspects of user behavior and market demand.

Understanding these revenue models and their implications can guide you towards sustainable monetization strategies in 2024 and beyond.
by Thomas Theodoridis
source: MakeOwn.App