So, you’re probably tired of hearing about the popularity of mobile technology and how it is getting bigger and bigger, and more and more people are accessing the Internet on a huge range of mobile devices. It might surprise you, then, that making by money selling an app is extremely challenging. The rewards are huge for those developers who succeed, but there are quite a few who fail to see a return on their efforts.
According to research,only about 5% of mobile users will actually pay money to purchase an app, with the vast majority choosing only to download free apps and programs.
You might be wondering, then – can apps even make money? And the answer is – yes, but you have to adopt different mobile strategies than simply selling your app. One of those strategies is using offer walls. Offer walls ‘offer’ incentives inside an app or game to encourage the user to spend money.
The structure of an offer wall can vary, but the point of an offer wall remains the same – to present a user with multiple offers with rewards they would want and get can by spending money or completing a specified task. This turns a non-paying customer into one who makes you money, since users can simply complete a task, triggering and advertising partner to pay you money. Many of the original offer walls rewarded customers with virtual currency or rewards for downloading another app; however, in 2013, Apple began cracking down on this type of offer wall, discouraging companies by changing its app ranking algorithm to include much more than just download numbers.
This decision by Apple ruffled more than a few feathers.
The consensus in the mobile developer community here in San Francisco is that you can make more money selling your app with Apple, but they’re always going to take a bigger cut of your profits. Apple also curates their app store wayyyyyyy more than Google does, so organic growth seems further out of reach for many developers.
Today, many offer walls take the form of things like giving the user a chance to watch a video advertisement in exchange for a reward; completing a survey for virtual currency; or even making a phone call for a prize. In 2014 we should expect to see companies helping app developers insert offer walls into their apps, each of which offers different services, structures, and connections. One of the most popular is Tapjoy, which not only helps to develop the offer wall itself, but also to acquire more high-value app users via their Pay-Per-Install network. Burstly is another helpful monetization company, which offers a full range of app services in addition to monetization, including beta testing and analytics.