May 21 2013

How Much Should You Charge For Mobile Apps

One of the major hurdles for many app developers is monetization. Almost anyone can build an app these days, but not everyone can produce the same kind of earning power. One of the more common and straightforward ways to earn mobile money is to charge an upfront download fee for your app. Many high-quality apps make use of this tactic as a way to bring in consistent money. This is also a good way to measure both the popularity of an app and its financial success because each download represents money spent. Valuing the app, however, can be a difficult conundrum that might not be easy to solve.

Putting a Value on Your App:

When you put a value on your app, you have to take into account everything that went into it. If you’re an independent app developer and you used your own knowledge and resources to create the app, then you probably have a good idea about how much the creation process cost you. Some companies actually end up outsourcing most of the work to freelancers who can get the job done but at an increased cost for the company. Make sure you understand the time and money spent on the app.

Of course, effort isn’t always an accurate marker of value. You may have worked incredibly hard building the app, but that doesn’t mean many consumers will appreciate that. The single-download value of most apps ranges from $0.99 to potentially much higher values. If you’ve created a small, simple game, then you can expect people to purchase the app if it doesn’t cost that much. If you’ve created a high-end enterprise management tool, then you might expect to charge a little bit more. The key is recognizing who is going to purchase your app. A casual gamer is likely going to pass up a high-priced game, but a corporate CEO won’t pass up an ideal business management app if it meets certain requirements.

Give Away App – Charge For Premium:

Charging a download fee isn’t the only way to make money from your apps. Depending on what you have to offer, it might make more sense to give the app away for free and charge for content later on. This is especially true for smaller apps from unproven developers that don’t have the track record of something like Angry Birds. If you’re dead set on charging an upfront cost for your app, you’re going to need to employ proper marketing strategies. Even a $0.99 app can be ignored by users if they don’t know what they’re going to get. Thus, it’s always a good idea to seek out app review websites and customer testimonials to get your brand out to the public eye.

It might also behoove you to start the app at a certain price, and then lower the price as a form of promotion. In fact, some developers have even gone as far as to give their app away for free for a day or two. This is a good way to eliminate consumer risk and still ensure that people are using your app.

Martin Blackman is an Android app developer from Australia. He has created more than 20 apps and offers advice on the Android app market.

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