How to Monetize Your App Without Ads

Did you know that over 80% of apps have ads? If you’re reading this, you probably don’t. Because the truth is: most apps are expected to have ads before they can be considered successful. In order for your app to succeed, and in order for you to make money from it, you need another way besides ads to monetize your app.

Luckily for you, there are many ways to monetize your app without ads. You no longer need to just settle with making money from it if you can help it. Read on if this interests you!

Monetizing Your App Without Ads

If you’re not already monetizing your app, then it’s likely that you’re doing all you can to get into the ad business. Unfortunately, it’s not often that profitable. Why? Well, most apps that are expected to have ads before they can be considered successful have already been saturated with ads, and don’t have much room to grow.

If you’re one of these apps, then you’re in a tough spot. How do we change that? You need to find a new way to monetize your app.

Let’s explore them one by one and figure out which one might work best for your particular situation. Read on if this interests you!

1. In-App Purchases

In-app purchases are a great way to monetize your app. In-app purchases can be used to unlock new features, new levels or content, new characters and weapons.

In-app purchases have a great advantage over ads in that they are not visible to the user. This means that users do not feel like they are being bombarded by ads and can enjoy the game without interruption.

2. Paid Apps

As a developer, you can create a paid app. It will cost money to download from the app store, but it won’t have any ads and it will not be free. This type of monetization is straightforward in that you know exactly how much it costs and how many people buy your app.

When looking at this option, there are some things to consider:

Your product has to be good enough to convince people that they should pay for what they could get for free elsewhere—and that means making sure the design is slick and intuitive;

You’ll need a way for users to make payments safely through Apple or Google Play;

You’ll have more control over pricing and promotions than with ads;

Users may take longer than expected before buying (or never buy).

3. Freemium Model

If you want to make money from your app but don’t want to use ads, consider using the freemium model. This is when you offer a free version of your app and charge users for upgrades or additional features.

Freemium is more popular than ever. In fact, according to Business of Apps’ survey, 62% of developers said they plan to adopt this monetization strategy in 2019. And it’s not just because they’re looking for new revenue streams; it’s also because customers prefer this type of pricing structure and find it easier to understand what they’re paying for upfront.

The great thing about this model is that it’s easy to implement—and has many benefits besides generating revenue:

4. Subscriptions

Subscriptions are a great way to get recurring revenue from your app and help it become profitable. Subscriptions can be used to offer premium content or access, such as additional features or content that would not otherwise be available.

If you have a chatbot platform like Facebook Messenger, then you may want to add subscription services for other bots on the platform.

For example, if you have an AI-powered bot that offers customer service for e-commerce companies and charges $50/month per user, it makes sense to charge customers using subscriptions rather than an upfront fee each month because it is easier for them to budget their expenses into their monthly bill with fewer surprises along the way (and they don’t need exact amounts on hand).

5. Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is a great way to earn money from an app that doesn’t use ads.

In affiliate marketing, you provide links or banners on your website and in the app. When users click these links or banners, they are taken to another website where they can purchase products and services. The company that owns the product or service pays you a commission for every purchase made through one of your links or banners.

The good news about affiliate marketing is that it’s free to set up and easy to maintain because you don’t need any special software or hardware — just a domain name and hosting package from any web host like Bluehost (which has been recommended by many experts in their field).

The bad news is that there are so many different kinds of products and services out there! It can be hard trying to figure out which ones would work best with your app — especially since most companies have strict criteria for what kind of websites/apps will qualify as an “affiliate partner.” But fear not; below are some examples of companies whose products/services might be right up your alley:

  • Shareasale
  • Amazon
  • Commission Junction
  • Maxbounty

6. A Sponsored Post

One of the best ways to make money off of your app is to work with sponsors. A sponsor is a company that pays you to promote their product in exchange for your audience and social proof. The most successful apps have been able to do this and make a pretty solid revenue stream in the process!


Apps like Instagram and Snapchat have both been very successful at monetizing through sponsored posts. They are able to charge brands thousands of dollars per sponsored post because they have such large followings on social media, which makes it much more effective than advertising online or through other channels might be for those same brands (and more attractive).

If you’re wondering how much someone should charge for a sponsored post, our general advice would be ‘the higher the better’. If you don’t know what kind of price range would work best for your particular situation then check out some examples online—you’ll probably find some great resources there!

7. Business collaborations

The second way to monetize your app is through business collaborations. You can offer your app as a solution to a problem they are having, or you could even suggest that they use your app to solve a problem that they are not aware of.

If the business you’re collaborating with has already paid for an expensive service and it’s not working, this is probably the best opportunity for them to try out your product before committing again.

The other way would be by offering an app that has already been tested and proven successful in solving some specific challenges faced by other businesses in similar industries or markets.

Several Tools to Help

If you have an app that does not rely on ads, above mentioned are several ways to monetize it. However, it is also important that you look at a few things:

  • Make sure your product is great
  • Make sure your user experience is great
  • Have a great marketing strategy
  • Have a great business model (business model canvas)
  • Have a great team

We’ve put together a list of five tools that can help you improve your app.

1. Monetization Matrix

The Monetization Matrix is a free tool that helps you understand the various revenue models available for your app. It breaks down each type of revenue into three categories: advertising, subscriptions, and in-app purchases. This allows you to compare them side by side and decide which ones work best for your app.

2. App Annie

App Annie is a website that provides data about the top 100 apps in the U.S., Canada, UK, Australia, and New Zealand. They also track trends across the industry as well as provide insights into the most downloaded games, movies, TV shows, books, music, and news apps.

3. Flurry Analytics

Flurry Analytics is a paid tool that gives you detailed information about your user base. It tracks things like how often users open your app, how long they spend using it, and whether they return after downloading it from the store. It also tells you how much money they spent while using your app. You can use this information to optimize your app for better conversions.


The key to monetizing an app that does not use ads is understanding your audience and finding the right solution. If you have a profitable idea or product, it is possible to earn revenue without resorting to advertising.

Take advantage of opportunities presented by the App Store Connect program, which gives developers access to new in-app purchases or subscriptions. You can also look into ways to make money through affiliate marketing with Amazon or Shareasale, as well as selling items on eBay or Etsy.


Tom McNaughton

Tom is a full-time digital marketer who has practiced internet marketing for over 10 years. Tom also serves dozens of local digital businesses and has successfully brought substantial traffic growth to their websites.

Delightful Work - Digital, Internet Marketing & Small Business Coach