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Choosing In-App Advertising Or In-App Purchasing Might Be As Simple As Choosing Between Android and iOS

March 17, 2015 - Written By John Anon

For app developers, the concept of how best to market and monetize your app can be a treacherous area. Gone are the days in which you can just release an app, stick a price tag on the download button and generate some revenue. Just like, gone are the days in which the quality of your app would dictate the likelihood of whether it is downloaded and more importantly, from the dev perspective, whether it would generate any income. Now, the pricing structure can be as advantageous (or disadvantageous) as the quality of a good app. In fact, how you market and look to monetize should be thought of as one of the most important aspects for app developers to consider.

Of course, one of the benefits of the newly formed app world, is that you no longer have to constantly rely on the end-user paying you directly for your app. Instead, there are other app monetization models which can be used to increase revenue. You can offer a freemium based app where the end-user pays nothing at the point of sale and instead pays via IAP (in-app purchases) to move forward, unlock additional content or gain needed tools. Alternatively, you could simply omit direct payment from the end user completely and instead use sponsors to provide the revenue for you, via a more in-app advertising based format. So there are other ways in which an app can be successfully monetized then just a ‘here is the app, here it what it costs’ format.

However, choosing whether to charge the end-user, how much to charge, whether to use IAPs or in-app advertising also might not be as straightforward as you might think. It seems there is the additional issue of the operating system you are catering for. In short Android or iOS. Not to mention, if you are planning on offering the app via both platforms then it should not be assumed that the same method is good for both. In fact, it seems that is not the case at all. Some reports from last year began to show that there is a difference in the likelihood of one platform user interacting with your app compared to the other. Take iOS for instance. It seems an average iOS user is far more likely to purchase your offerings via IAPs than an average user might on android. In contrast and in spite of android users more often avoiding paying IAPs, the same average android user is more likely to open your app, more often. So the number of ‘opened engagements’ are far higher on android than on iOS.

Although, this is not a one rule for all users, the takeaway is that choosing the right method of monetizing on the correct platform will offer a greater chance of successfully seeing a return on your app. It seems if you are catering for iOS, then IAPs is certainly a more viable option than using the in-app advertising, where the user is unlikely to reestablish an opening connection so often. Ergo reestablishing a connection to the advert. In contrast, with the more often app-opening for android users, this platform seems far more ideal to utilize in-app advertising which will generate more face-time with the advert and hopefully a much higher click-through rate. Further still, if you are planning on penetrating both platforms, then it seems app developers are better off adopting a different monetization method for each platform. Either way, the result seems to be the same. If you want to increase the likelihood of success in monetizing, the correct monetizing method for the correct operating system should be taking into consideration at a much earlier stage of development.