How Do You Make Money From Your Apps?

One of the areas of API development I'm focusing a lot of energy on in 2012 is around monetization. I want to help define the playing field, of how API owners make money from their APIs, as well as how developers make money from their apps.

Both areas are extremely critical for the success of any API ecosystem. If the API owner does not have a clear path to generate revenue, the API won't be sustainable, and eventually will go away.

On the other side of the coin, developers have to be able to make money from their apps in order to sustain their work, and build a viable business around an API.

As part of my work on understanding the developer side of things, I'm doing several posts asking developers how they make or plan to make money from their apps. Two obvious ways immediately come to mind:

  • App Sales - Download and service based fees around apps.
  • Advertising - Web and mobile ads in apps.

Advertising has long held the title when it comes to monetizing apps, and iTunes and iOS sparked the mobile app gold rush. But what other ways are there?

How can developers make money from their apps in ways that make them successful and sustainable? At CityGrid we have "Places that Pay", where users get paid for showing certain business profiles, and we are working on other versions of "Content that Pays", in the future. But there has to be other innovative ways to make money from web and mobile app development.

Let me know how you are making money from your apps!