How much money can you earn with free apps in 2020?

AgileTech Vietnam
9 min readJul 22, 2020
how free apps make money in 2020 how much money can you earn with free apps making money application agiletech

Do you have an app idea to create in 2020? Are you still wondering whether it’s worth investing? How much money can you earn with apps? If you want to create a mobile app application and are unsure how to make money from apps, we will tackle in this article.

But before answering to these questions, let us share one thing. According to Statistics, in June 2020, 96.4 percent of all Android applications were available for free. Meaning, there’s a tough competition in the marketplace to earn money with apps for Android and iPhone.

Therefore, this article is for entrepreneurs who want to earn money from apps by publishing free app in the mobile application market. So, let’s check out how exactly you can make money with free apps.

How Much Money Do Free Apps Make?

According to Digital Information World, the year 2019 bought approximately $83.5 billion from worldwide users of Apple’s App Store and Google Play. That’s why mobile app market is a huge opportunity that you can’t miss out!

Moreover, if you think that free mobile apps are not as profitable as much as the paid ones, then you couldn’t be more wrong. In fact, the top grossing mobile applications in the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store are all FREE. Freemium apps also account for 98 percent of Google Play revenue.

At the same time, 5–10% of mobile app users are ready to buy a paid app. And, the revenues from paid apps will go down in upcoming years.

Now, if you are ready to learn how to earn by apps, below are 6 factors to consider before making app development.

How To Create Successful Mobile Apps?

As over 5 years experience, we’ve worked with many entrepreneurs and helped them bring their ideas into the money-making apps. How many users will find your free mobile app? How many of them will download it?

Because of that, we are here to help you generate a good amount of app revenues as well as get ranks on app store.

How much does it cost to make a mobile app? Here’re what you need to know!

Start with an idea

When start focusing on how to earn money with apps, the first thing you need to keep in mind is:

  • Understanding what problem you are targeting
  • Identifying what service your app will offer
  • Deciding the features of your app

Market research

Another factor that helps in determining how do free apps make money is:

  • Target audience — If you’ve already have a clear vision of the target group, it will be easier for you to enhance the success ratio. For example, if you are building an educational app for kids, it is important to go with a monetization strategy that offer free services.
  • Competitor — In the end, this step gives you a hint about what strategies similar apps prefer and how much money they make with an app.

How to create top-class app description?

Choose a catchy name

If your app have a snappy name that reflects its major functions, it likely to attract a lot more users. Especially, it’s also important to include keywords in the app name.

In particular, let’s look at Tinder — one of the world’s most popular app for meeting new people. As you can see, the full title contains an explanation of what this app does. It offers to meet new people, expand your social network, meet locals when you’re traveling, or just live in the now.

Create informative app description

In general, the first several sentences of an app description should have information and illustrate the app’s main idea. Not many people click the button “read more”. though, make sure that this part of description is meaningful and informative.

The next step is to provide your app a main body of the description. Let’s take a look at the description of Netflix. As you can see, it helps users to find out what they can do.

Design an eye-catching screenshots

When considering how to earn money from mobile apps, another factor is app’s screenshots. Users want to know how your app will look at their devices. That’s why you should pick the best screenshots.

For instance, take a look at Uber screenshots on App Store. Accordingly, it is added some text describing main functions. People are more likely to act (i.e. to download your free mobile app) if they see verbs.

Technological preference

Not only good mobile apps idea that earn money, you also should understand how technologies can make an app better. At the same time, to make it stand out from competitor, it is important to define the development approach.

For example, news apps are better suited to subscription services and gated content while gaming apps can profit from in-app purchases.

How To Build Progressive Web App? Here’re what you need to know!

Whether you have developed paid apps or free apps that earn money, you need to have a monetization strategy that satisfies your future user as well as ensure your company is profitable.

How To Earn Money With Free Apps?

It is important to choose monetization model that fit your potential users. There are many different ways to monetize your application successfully:

  • Freemium model (with features purchased additionally)
  • Paid apps
  • In-app purchases
  • Subscription model
  • In-app advertisements
  • Sponsor and partnership monetization
  • Crowdfunding

Let’s discover which monetization methods are best suited for your mobile app below!


Here, users can get an app for free with a basic set of features. But, they pay mount of money to have some extra functions. So that, when you are looking into how to earn extra money with free apps, you need a paid version.

Even if only 0.5–2% of app users buy a premium app version, your app will reach a broad audience with free version. This model works really well with games, cloud services, photo editing apps, and educational platforms.

For example, have a look at Minecraft — a top Editors’ Choice on Google Play.

In other word, to enjoy the full Minecraft experience — including creative mode, multiplayer and more — purchase the game at any point during or after your trial.

In-app purchases

In a nutshell, this app monetization strategy involves selling additional features or goods in an app such as in-game currency, valuable items, extra time, health points, hints.

There are three major types of in-app purchases:

1. Consumable items

When considering your in-app purchase, firstly, you must know the difference between consumables and non-consumables. Consumables are products that the user can use within the app, such as health points, virtual money or digital currencies.

2. Non-consumable items

And non-consumables can be used permanently, such as new games, maps, or as blocking. This is how free apps earn money without ads.

For instance, take mobile gaming phenomenon Pokémon GO. The primary currency is PokéCoins. According to rakutenintelligence, 100 PokéCoins is the most purchased coin bundle, with nearly 37 percent of in-app purchases spend on this one-dollar expense. Furthermore, while many purchasers are only buying the entry level Pokémon currency, the middle tier, of 1,200 PokéCoins is currently the most lucrative coin bundle for the game.

3. Subscriptions

Another strategy to help you earn money fast with apps is subscription model. But this model is profitable for apps that have high user engagement. This type of business is often recommended in music/video streaming apps like Spotify, Netflix, and Apple Music, or productivity apps like Todoist.

The app subscription works in the following way:

  • After downloading free app, users will receive a trial period, often for 7 days.
  • When your free using time is end, if you continues using the app, they will buy a subscription for a weekly, monthly, or annual fee.

In-app advertising

Are you looking for a never-ending source of income? With in-app ads, app publishers earn money based on the interactions on the advertisements displayed within the app.

These days, advertising in an app is the most common way to earn with free apps. By the end of 2019, mobile advertising will account for 72% of all U.S. digital ad spending.

There are three types for in-app ads, so let’s take a look!

  • Cost per view (CPV): This model means that the more times users of your app watch video ads, the higher payout you get.
  • Cost per Click (CPC): You get the payment when the app users click on display ads.
  • Cost per install (CPI): With this campaigns, you get paid whenever a user of your app installs an advertised application.

However, to avoid common mistakes, you need to know these critical questions before running in-app ads. For example:

  • You should choose ads that can’t damage your brand.
  • Slow ads can ruin the user experience.
  • Otherwise, 78% of consumers will happily accept mobile advertising that is relevant to their interests.
how to make money from apps by in-app advertising for mobile app agiletech

There are four ad formats you should consider in your mobile app:

  • Banner ads: The banner ads usually place at the top or at the bottom of a screen and have some text and graphics. But the engagement rate of such ads is quite low. It also depend on brand recognition.
  • Interstitial ads: This type of ad have additional benefit of an expanding, full-screen experience. However, the possibility to take up a user’s full screen can be disruptive. Therefore, it is important to place these ads at natural pauses.
  • Video ads: Typically, video ads appear during natural pauses of app usage and last 10–30 seconds. eMarketer believes U.S. mobile video ad spending will reach $24.81 billion by 2022. So that, this is a great choice to earn money through apps.
  • Native ads: Native ads are designed to match the mobile app’s user experience. Thus, they are seamlessly integrated into mobile applications, making them subtle but quite efficient.


Also known as influencer marketing, sponsorship is a really effective way to monetize your mobile app. Let us explain.

If you already have a large user base, brands may be interested in using your mobile app to connect with their target audiences. There are two types of sponsorship deals:

  • Split the revenue with your sponsors
  • Receive a monthly sponsorship fee

In fact, choosing sponsorship with your trusted partners can be a win-win scenario. Not only earn money with apps, you are also connecting your users to a brand they may find useful. For example, if you have an on-demand food delivery app, you can work with partners that share those values — giving users a valuable recommendation about restaurant nearby or coupons.

If you want to know more details, please visit our full blog!

As a leading software development in Vietnam, we have huge experiences in many fields including e-commerce, car-sharing platform, health care, Livestream and many more.

You can contact us at or via (+84) 936 281 059 for more information.

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