2018 Trends in App Monetization: App Store Free Trials, GDPR, and Rewarded Surveys

There’s only one constant when it comes to monetization for publishers, and that constant is change. What worked for publishers last year may no longer be relevant. And, of course, new technologies and monetization angles are emerging all the time.

With the 10th anniversary of the iOS App Store on July 10, 2018, just taking a look at the differences in app downloads and consumer spending then and now is pretty revealing. Back in 2010, the top 5 most downloaded apps included Talking Tom Cat, Facebook, Skype, Windows Live Messenger, and Twitter. This year, those top 5 slots have shifted over to Tik Tok (a Chinese social media app), YouTube, Facebook Messenger, Instagram, and Facebook. Meanwhile, consumer spend in 2010 centered around Documents To Go, Shazam, LogMeIn Ignition, Star Walk, and NAVIGON Europe. In 2018, the biggest consumer app spend went to Netflix, Tencent Video, Tinder, iQIYI, and Kwai. Talk about some major differences.

But what can we look for in terms of app monetization for the remainder of 2018? Are there any particular opportunities that publishers ought to consider? Keep reading to find out.

iOS App Store: Free Trials Enabled

 At the beginning of June, Apple introduced new guidelines for its iOS App Store. Amongst these new guidelines is a much awaited and anticipated change that will impact both customers and developers: the option for free trials.

As of now, all apps in the iOS App Store are capable of offering a free trial download. This free trial is time delimited, and can be anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. These free trials will take the form of $0.00 in-app purchases, allowing users to unlock features that would normally require an actual purchase within the app.

Up until now, users could only access free trials in subscription-style apps by entering their credit card info and agreeing to make an ongoing payment once the trial was complete. The lack of an ability to offer a free trial was a major source of user complaints.

This added functionality offers new monetization opportunities to publishers. It’s now easier than ever to allow users to try out a new feature in an app, in the hopes that they’ll begin paying for that feature once they’ve had a chance to test drive it.

GDPR and Data Privacy

 Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the majority of 2018, you’re likely quite familiar with the EU General Data Protection Regulation. GDPR went into effect on May 25, 2018, and it’s had a massive global impact on the digital world.

As an app publisher, you’ve likely gone to quite a bit of trouble to update your privacy policy in order to ensure GDPR compliance. Even if you’re based in the United States, you’re still bound to be processing EU user data — meaning that you’ll need to take the necessary GDPR precautions regardless of where your headquarters happen to be.

And, to be clear, penalties under GDPR are enormous. Violators could be looking at fines of more than €20 million in some instances. In fact, Google and Facebook are currently facing up to $9.3 billion in fines under the new privacy law. In other words, GDPR is something that publishers need to take seriously.

Perhaps more than anything else, GDPR is having an impact on ad revenue for publishers. This makes sense, of course. Effectively delivering mobile ads involves collecting and processing quite a bit of user data. Without access to that data, delivering customized ads directly to users becomes a lot more difficult. And even though GDPR has only been in effect for a couple of months, early data already shows a drop in ad rates and publisher earnings in the European Union.

This means that you’re likely to see a drop in ad income from your apps. Perhaps you already have, in fact. With this in mind, what are your options? How can you make up for this lost revenue in a post-GDPR world?

Rewarded Surveys

While your earnings from mobile ads might be falling off as a result of GDPR, there are other options out there. Rewarded surveys offer an excellent opportunity for monetization that respects users’ data privacy.

Here at TheoremReach, we connect publishers who need to monetize their apps with market researchers who need access to survey data. When you sign up with TheoremReach, you’ll be able to make various surveys available to your users in-app. Users can provide information about themselves to ensure that they receive surveys specific to their interests. Once those surveys are completed, your users receive an in-app reward. Meanwhile, the survey data is forwarded to the market researcher. Once that data is received, the researcher sends a payment to you, the publisher. TheoremReach takes care of all of these details, making it easier than ever to incorporate rewarded surveys into your apps.

Ready to add rewarded surveys to your app’s revenue streams? Click here to sign up for a free publisher account today!

2018-08-16T20:04:49+00:00