Let’s start by asking the question: What is an indie app?

An application or game that is developed by an independent developer(s) without any external fund from experts usually is called an indie app. 

Most indie app developers leverage open source tools and software while developing games and applications. But it takes more than having a great working app to bring in revenue.  

In fact, it’s exactly the opposite. In the world of app development, driving big app downloads and revenue numbers can be quite challenging, so what can you do to make money off your app? 

What’s your earning potential as an Indie app developer? 

The platform an app is distributed on can impact how much it generates in terms of exposure and income. For instance, Catappult enables indie app developers to distribute their games and apps to different and multiple app stores at once. Imagine reaching over 320 million users via the Catapult App Distribution Console – what a huge income you could earn, even as an indie app developer!   

However, it’s not enough to gain exposure. Another way you can earn money is by incorporating in-app purchase features in your apps. This method has been an effective means for indie app developers to earn more money. 

Here’s a stat! 

Candy Crush earns about $1,798,017  through in-app purchases. Supercell, the brain behind the Brawl stars, made over $63.4 million by using an in-app purchase strategy in 2018. 

How can you partner with companies to run their ads on your app? 

Click Per View Contract 

If you partner with a business on Click Per View Contract, you can charge $0.01 for every ad. So, if you attract 20,000 users on your game or app on a daily basis, you can earn $200 per day – at most. 

Subscription Model 

If you don’t want to create free apps, you can create monthly plans. You can have as low as $4.99 to $14.99 monthly subscription with different plans. The Match Group was able to generate over $285.3 million, whereas Netflix has so far generated over $11b in revenue.  As long as your app or games provides something valuable that will keep your users hooked, they won’t mind subscribing monthly, quarterly, or even yearly! 

If you are considering the options between native and hybrid for your own app, you might want to lean towards hybrid. This will enable your app or games to function on different devices seamlessly. This can also increase your earning potentials as your app will not be restricted to mobile-only. The most important thing is to conclude the type of app business model you want and need for your app. 

Major Indie App Business Models to Consider 

In-App Advertising 

In-app advertising enables you to generate income by displaying ads for third parties or businesses inside your app. Here are some examples: 

·         Interstitial ads: These pop-up between game levels, when you load a new page or when you open a new tab. 

·         Banner ads: These are common in web browsers and one of the most used ad-formats in the ads category. 

·         Video ads: These are either sent from Facebook, Youtube, and/or Instagram and could also be interstitial as they usually cover the whole screen. 

·         Rewarded Videos: These are the latest trend in video ads as they compensate users for viewing. It could be in the form of a tip, in-game gear, additional lives, or coins. 

·         Native ads: These usually blend into your app design and fit in into the app environment. 

·         Text Ads: These are the few catchphrases or call-to-action sentences that encourage users to click and download the advertised website or software. 

In-App Purchases 

This business model enables users to purchase extra features or goods inside your app. It could be valuable items, in-game currency, health points, hints, and so on. However, if you aren’t sure whether to utilize in-app ads in your app or game, you can try in-app purchases as they do not push users and are usually given as an optional feature.  

You could also use a freemium model or a subscription model, in addition to an app-purchase model. With a freemium model, your users can download your app and upgrade to access additional features later on. On the other hand, the app subscription model allows your users to test your app first before paying. 

Paid Apps 

Paid apps are premium application model. You pay once, and you get the license to use the app. Easy! 

These were a few ideas on how to drive revenue from your app, as an indie app developer. Are you using any of the strategies mentioned above? Let us know in the comments below.