Featured: Free Apps Outshine the Paid Apps

December 10, 2012 - Written By Christina Gardner


When one decides to take on developing apps there is one main goal to achieve and that is how the app being developed can make money. However, it can take quite some time to get to that point. First you have to achieve popularity, then you must achieve a solid support base to even get to that step. In today’s Android society apps that are free and “without ads” are really what can truly “sell” it or is this logic false?

The decision to “sell” or “not to sell” can be one tough decision for a developer. Several scenarios could play out, and there no real ways to foretell the future of what will happen. So what can a developer do? A developer can go through a checklist of questions to decide a few things when it comes to their apps and achieving “monetization.” Asking:

  1. Does the app engage enough activity from users?
  2. What amount of users are willing to pay an “up front fee?”
  3. What is the competition like, and what marketing skills are they using?

As a developer these are the beginning questions one should ask. The next step is to socialize with other developers and the Android Community. Find the “ins and outs” of apps and making money. Doing this can enable a developer to then decide the next checklist of questions:

  1. Where is the app most likely to be sold at?
  2. Should a “free subscription supported” version be available?
  3. Should it be offered without ads?
  4. Should a free app be made that supports “in app purchases?”

Answering these questions opens the door for two potential “target” markets. That of users or that of advertisers. One must then decide, who pays more for the apps, users or advertisers? When it comes to the general public of users I think it would be safe to say that they generally do not like having to pay, unless it’s really, ¬†and I mean REALLY good. It’s not something that the general Android community of users enjoy having to do especially with the economy still shambles. Trust me, every penny counts!

On the other side we have advertisers who are a bit more willing to dish out the green. Advertising is definitely a way to help market not only your product, but it’s going to help the advertisers as well. It would almost seem win-win right?

Cambridge University conducted a study that showed 73% of apps were indeed FREE. However, 80% of those apps used advertising within their models.  Researches have stated that free apps are a much more popular download. The went on to say:

“Just 20% of paid apps are downloaded more than 100 times and only 0.2% of paid apps are downloaded more than 10,000 times. On the flipside, 20% of free apps get 10,000 or more downloads.”

Even though statistics show that free apps are the choice download, developers need to keep in mind the multiple target audiences, which would be users who don’t want ads in their app. They just want an app to run and have no interference. This can open up doorways for developers it would seem. How you ask? What better way to target both by making a free version, but then also a paid version as well. This way you can show your support to the developer and allow them to make better development and move their apps forward.

In conclusion, make sure sure to explore your options when it comes to app development and make sure that you are making the best of what is available because research shows money isn’t everything.