Why Launching a Free Mobile App Pays Off

There is a wide variety of prices in the app store – some are free, some are a few dollars, and some charge pretty big bucks. One of our September posts from Mike Brown entitled “Launching a paid mobile app? Good luck with that,” highlighted that 89% of apps downloaded are in fact free.

But adding to that, free apps – while they might cost nothing – are generating some serious revenue. According to Ryan Kim at Gigaom:

“…freemium apps on iOS have quadrupled over the last 24 months. And for Google Play, worldwide freemium revenues have grown 3.5x in 2012. Now, freemium apps generate 69 percent of the worldwide iOS app revenue and 75 percent of global Android app revenues. Meanwhile, premium app revenue from paid download apps have remained relatively flat over the same periods.”

Now developers have two reasons to launch their app for free. However, the free model isn’t for every app. Some apps do make more sense to charge a small fee. But whatever pricing model you choose, make sure your app is high quality, and well-tested. For paid apps, you’re charging your users… so it seems more obvious to test well. But free apps must hold themselves to the same standards for several reasons – including maintaining your business’ reputation and keeping mobile advertising or in-app purchases going. If you don’t launch a high quality app, you won’t see any revenue.

Have you shed a few bucks for an app you had to have? Share your thoughts on paid vs. free in the comments section.


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