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How Does an App Make Money?

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How Does An App Make Money?

This is the million dollar question.  Figuring out the best monetization strategy for your application all depends on one very important thing: genre.  The genre of your application directly affects how you should monetize.  For instance, let’s look at Candy Crush, the blockbuster, ka-dillion dollar earning game.

The creators of Candy Crush architected the game play brilliantly.  For those who don’t know about Candy Crush, it’s a matching game; match pieces of candy and earn points, and clear levels.  In the beginning of the game, in the early levels, the game is extremely easy.   From a monetization perspective, the early levels are akin to a getting a “taste” from the local drug dealer.  I’ve always said that they should’ve called the game Candy Crack.  And I had tons of Candy Crush crack heads invading my facebook feed for about 4 months strait.

So the game is very easy at first.  All of a sudden, you find yourself stuck on levels; what once seemed so easy, is exponentially harder very quickly – eventually the user runs out of lives.   This is where the “free app” becomes a money maker.  The Candy Crush crack head needs his fix, and needs it now.  So the developers put cheats into the game.  For a couple of dollars you can get help to eliminate a particular color candy, or knock out a column, or get another life.  Never underestimate the stupidity of a cheater with an iPhone.   The crack heads gladly will pay a few bucks to keep playing.

The Candy Crush strategy can’t work for every genre though.  It is effective for games, but other genres may need to go a different direction.  For instance, a social media app may not be able to implement the Candy Crush strategy.  But, then again, maybe it can.  Bottom line is, if you are looking to launch an app, you will need creative and experienced product development consultants to come up with the strategy.  This type of product development can take weeks or months to be perfect.   Even then, after you deploy your 1.0, you may need to tweak, revisit, or even scrap your initial monetization strategy.

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