I often wondered how people who make apps that are free apps actually make money and at minimum, recoup the investment required to create an app. The most viral, over-the-night sensation apps all cost money to make yet, they are free…how can that be? The typical cost to have an app developed is $15k+ so how and why would someone want to make it free?
Here are a few reasons why developers offer their apps for free:
- Free Apps are the fastest most quickest way to gain an audience and following amongst the millions of apps currently available for Android and iPhone devices.
- Free Apps offer the developer a quick way to start making money on in-app, in-game purchases that enhance the user’s experience.
- What use is it to have an app developed that is great, yet no one uses the app because they are unfamiliar with your brand and the thought of paying for an app with out a following and a known-brand scares people away.
These days getting an app created is not as hard as it used to be. With sites like O-Desk, Freelancer.com and the like, you have access to developers from all over the world that are eager to work with you. Clearly you need to have a game-plan on vetting would-be-developers but, none the less, this lowers the cost of app development.
Free apps are a great marketing tool as well. Think of the advantage businesses have when they offer free apps to their customer base. Now they have customers who think of them every time they use their smartphone and see that free app icon sitting on their screen.
Even having an app that’s not immediately relate-able to their product holds an advantage just because they gave it away free. Of course the app needs to be useful but, that’s part of the creative process that should be apparent before finding a developer and spending money.
Free apps are the way the big boys go about making money through apps. If you are an entrepreneur or business owner, maybe you too can have a useful app created. Who knows it may open up a new line of revenue you never even considered.