How many apps do you have on your phone? Chances are you have quite a few. You’re not alone — mobile apps are an extremely popular market.
Just how popular? Statista reports there are currently 2.2 million apps on Apple’s App Store and 2.8 million on Google’s Google Play Store.
The same report states apps are such a hot market that they’re estimated to bring in up to $189 billion dollars in revenue for app developers by 2020!
As an app inventor or business owner, it’s pertinent you take advantage of this incredible trend.
But which route should you go with your app? Free or paid apps?
Read on for a brief summary of the pros and cons of each.
Free apps generally receive substantially more downloads than paid apps, but your customers/app users are more than willing to pay for an app if they see value in it.
And if they see value in it, that can quickly translate to a purchase.
Here’s an overview of everything you need to know.
Pros Of Paid Apps
Above all else, a paid app offers developers a way to get money back immediately.
There’s no need to worry about whether or not your customers are going to buy micro transactions — the download itself results in money.
These costs can help an app inventor recuperate the money they invested during development of their app idea. Not a bad deal, huh?
Paid apps are a great way for an app inventor or business with a built-in market to make some quick cash.
Ultimately, businesses with a larger audience would do better creating a paid app.
Cons Of Paid Apps
The main negative of making your app a paid app is that you will generally receive substantially less downloads than the same app that is free.
However, if your app truly solves an important problem or fits in a special niche with no other competition, paid apps can still be a huge revenue generator.
Now that we’ve detailed the complex nature of paid applications, let’s examine the world of free apps and what they can offer you.
Pros Of Free Apps
What do you think of when you hear the word “free?” Chances are it piques your interest.
Your audience is going to react in much the same way.
The biggest advantage free apps have over their paid counterparts is that they encourage impulse downloads.
There’s no barrier to entry at all — the user just has to tap a button and wait a few seconds.
And it’s precisely that impulse that can bring in business.
Micro transactions (also known as in-app purchases) are immensely popular in the mobile market.
So even if an app is “free,” it’s still possible to make money from micro transactions.
Last year, Candy Crush Saga brought in over $2 billion dollars alone just from micro transactions!
Integrating a mobile ad network like AdMob to display ads on your app is another popular way to monetize free apps.
Cons Of Free Apps
Although free apps will generally yield the most downloads, it’s crucial that you have a solid plan to make money from your app in some other way.
Free apps also can have lower engagement with users because the barrier to downloading a free app does not exist.
As such, free apps should pay extra special attention to how to maximize user interaction.
So Which Is Best: Paid Or Free Apps?
There’s no definitive answer to this question, though we’d lean toward free apps.
The possibility of impulse downloads offers limitless potential, while paid apps can be a gamble.
Still, it all depends on your personal goals — ie. maximum exposure of your app vs. simply making the most money.
Do you have more paid or free apps on your phone? Share your thoughts by dropping a comment below.