In this article, we’ll look at the ways to monetize Android apps and APK files and go over in detail how to do that with Adsterra. You’ll be surprised how easy it is 🙂
What are APK files? Each Android application is packaged in one installation file with the .apk extension. The app’s file can have any name, but the extension has to be .apk. For example, myApp.apk. The APK file encapsulates the entire code of the app.
APK files are used by the Android operating system to install various applications on Android devices and to store the application package. The APK package stores an aggregated Android application. This file also contains all the resources required to start the application.
First things first, we need to define where to start. Let us walk you through from the very beginning to the successful final.
In order to monetize APK files, you first need to place them somewhere for the user to actually see the app, download it on their mobile device and start using it.
The largest channel used for distributing Android apps with almost global coverage is the Google Play Store; it comes pre-installed on each Android device.
But as of today, many other alternative app stores have popped up on the market. There is even a tendency for them specializing. Some stores began to focus on a particular topic (games, business, utilities, dating, etc.) on a specific target audience or GEO.
There are several reasons why this has become so relevant. The stiff competition in Google Play Store makes it increasingly difficult to promote apps there; it can sometimes be hard even to pass moderation. Not to mention that Google can intentionally block individual smartphone manufacturers or, from another perspective, the Google Play Store application may not be available to users from specific countries.
Google Play Store alternatives for APK and app developers
Let’s go over a few alternatives to the Google Play Store that offer games and apps of various categories: dating, music, utilities to business, news, weather, education, books, and design.
CodeNgo ─ this store will send your app to more than 30 stores, from Google Play and Opera to Amazon and Samsung. It also cooperates directly with the best Chinese app stores.
AppBrain ─ an online store of browsers for Android. Can be installed directly on the user’s phone.
1Mobile ─ offers a collection of mobile apps, games and videos.
Aptoide ─ offers a variety of categories: games, dating, entertainment, music and audio, business, education, family and many others. Thanks to the well-thought-out interface, the store has already won the hearts of millions of users.
There are also cross-platform app stores: Amazon, Getjar, Mobile Store Opera, Appszoom, Appolicious, Nexva, Kongregate, Appland and others.
After your app becomes available in a store, users found out about it, downloaded it on their devices, and made it part of their daily lives, you can move on to monetizing it.
So, how exactly can you monetize an Android app?
For a successful Android app monetization, it is critical to decide on your strategy. Are you planning on getting income from selling ad space or from in-app purchases? Maybe, you’ll combine these two methods. Probably, you’ll test new options and add new monetization methods.
Your app’s estimated popularity is vital whether you’ll promote your app with ads or give preference to free promotion methods. The monetization methods you’ve chosen directly depend on this. If your app isn’t popular enough, you probably shouldn’t count on making serious money by selling ad space to 3rd parties. It simply won’t be seen by enough people.
The degree of user involvement is no less important. Your income depends on how interested and involved users are in your product, how often they interact with it ─ all that determines how often they make purchases and how tolerant they are of ads and banners in your app.
While Google AdSense is a Google’s affiliate program for website owners, Google AdMob Network is for app owners. It offers developers and publishers several opportunities to monetize their inventory.
You will need to choose among ad formats offered and integrate them into your app: native ads, banners, interstitials, rewarded ads, etc. You will get paid for displaying ads and for clicks on them.
The income that you can receive using this network depends largely on how popular your app is, as well as on the degree of user involvement.
Just like AdSense, AdMob is not the easiest way of mobile traffic monetization. The slightest violation can send your account straight into the ban bin.
The Freemium business model involves creating a free app and allowing the users to purchase paid content later on. This monetization method is widely used in game apps.
The user plays the game for free, overcomes different levels of difficulty while acquiring additional resources necessary to advance further in the game. This can be gear, weapons, accessories, in-game currency. To become the owner of extra goodies, the user must make a deposit to their game account.
To make sure the user stays interested in the game, you need to constantly update it and continuously attract new players.
The app can be free but just have certain paid features. For example, Skype allows users to chat or video call each other for free, but in order to call a mobile or stationary phone the user will need to make a deposit. For example, Skype allows users to chat or make video calls for free, but to call a mobile or stationary phone the user will need to make a deposit.
A free trial version lets the client use the app for free for a limited time only. For example, 30 days. The user gets acquainted with the app and then makes the decision whether or not to buy it. If the user chooses not to, then they’ll be forced to stop using the app. This method is especially effective when used to promote software.
This method offers the client to pay a monthly fee to use the app. This option is usually used by ebook libraries, online cinemas, and other services with helpful content. If your content is relevant and exciting, and the service is convenient, then the model will work like a charm.
This method works the following way: users download the app and access its basic features for free. But to use the app’s advanced capabilities, they’ll need to buy the premium version.
Premium features can be added to a photo or video editing app, to a game, or even to a business-oriented task management solution like Trello, Asana, Notion.
The user makes a one-time purchase and is then allowed to download the app. No additional payments later on – all the features are available. This method would reel in good money if the app was made by a respectable developer that’s known around the market. Users must be convinced of the value and usability of the product they’re being offered.
WebView is an application that allows you to open web pages inside other apps instead of redirecting users to a browser. Such apps are capable of opening sites in their interface without switching to the actual website.
The ad link the app’s owner posts don’t redirect the user to a browser webpage but instead shows them the ad right there in the app. In other words, the target website is inside the app. Webview is a copy of the website suitable to be displayed in the app.
If you make a WebView version of the target website in the form of an APK file, that file can open the website on mobile devices in the form of an app. This way, you can monetize your app using the WebView technology.
With Adsterra, you have a lightweight ad format that can be added to any place of your Android app. It’s a Direct Link.
Direct Link is a clean and simple ad format. It contains multiple landing page URLs from Adsterra advertisers. You add the Link to your Android app or APK, users click on it, and then Adsterra redirects each of them to the best-matching landing page.
No need to have a space for banners or integrate a push format. You simply add the Link to any element inside your app or APK. What kind of? These may be:
- texts (especially those with active verbs: “click,” “go,” “visit,” etc.);
- pictures, icons, GIFs;
- buttons and text links.
From your publisher’s account, find the Websites tab and click Add new website (aka traffic source). Don’t let the name of the function confuse you ─ it perfectly suits our goals.
In the pop-up window, you see the Domain field. As you don’t have one, you need to compose a non-existing domain from your Adsterra login “myadsterralogin.com”.
Select the category of traffic (the Website Category field) you work with so that we could match it with the most relevant landing pages. E.g., if your app is about movies and TV series, then choose Movies. If you serve anime games, select Anime. If nothing suits, pick Other.
Filter the unwanted ad types by excluding certain types of offers. If you want to maximize your CPM, don’t set any filters here.
Choose Direct Link from the Available Ad Unit field.
After adding an app to Adsterra and picking Direct Link as your ad format, we take them for approval.
You can check the status on the Websites page. While on approval, it’s marked as Pending. After the approval, the status changes to Approved.
Once your website’s status changes to Approved, click All codes – Get code. From a dropdown, copy the ad code and place it inside your app or APK.
You can also find your Direct Link code in your inbox. Just check the email and copy the code.
As you can see, there are free and clean ways to monetize your Android app and APK files. Monetizing Android apps requires taking many factors into account: GEO, age, interests, how solvent the target audience is. Choosing an effective method is not always easy.
If you lack experience and aren’t 100% confident in your own abilities, the best option would be to turn to ad networks for help.
With Adsterra, you have experienced managers who can offer effective cooperation methods and help choose the ad offer that suits your traffic. For example, Direct Link is an ultimate means to monetize social traffic from Facebook and other platforms. You may have a landing page, not a website, and grow passive income with Direct link.
With Adsterra’s faithful assistance, you’re sure to find the best way to monetize an Android app or APK file. Getting started is easy! Add your app or website to the platform, select ad formats and start earning.