The best 5 monetization strategies for content heavy apps and platforms

Monetization is the process of generating revenue from your app or platform. When it comes to monetization, there are many different strategies to consider. In this article we’re going to explore the best 5 of them.

1. The freemium model

The freemium model is the preferred revenue model among online startups and mobile apps today. “Freemium”, which comes from combining the words “free” and “premium”, is a monetization strategy entailing the free download of the app, the access to the app’s basic functionalities, and the possibility to make a purchase to unlock extra features.

Key features of the freemium model:

  • It doesn’t require investing in a large commercial team
  • It’s easy to get a large user base when you offer your product for free
  • It gives entrepreneurs a reason for constant innovation: releasing new features incentivizes users to upgrade to the paid version

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2. Advertising

Advertising is one of the most popular monetization strategies for content-heavy apps and platforms. Since it allows to make money by displaying ads, the app can remain free to install and use.

Key features of the advertising model:

  • It’s easy to set up
  • Ads don’t require large investments
  • The user experience is critical, which is why ads don’t have to be intrusive or pushy, but highly targeted and presenting the right offers to the right users
  • Advertising as the main revenue channel requires a large number of visitors. This means that a considerable amount of time should be devoted to building a large user base or community

3. Subscriptions

Subscription is the most prevalent monetization model for software companies, service-oriented apps, and content-centric apps such as news. Apps that monetize through subscription are free to download and use, but have limited access to the content or services they offer.

There are two different subscription approaches. The free trial: the app’s free version is available for a limited period of time only; the basic and premium approach: those who don’t subscribe have access to basic features, while the paid version provides extra value.

Key features of the subscriptions model:

  • The free version attracts a large user base that can be cultivated into paid app subscribers
  • Not paying for everything at once makes user commitment easier
  • It allows the monetization of content without interrupting the user experience with ads
  • It requires the constant delivery of value/content in order for users to stick around

4. Referral selling 

Referral selling—or affiliate marketing—is a monetization model that entails the placement of links to relevant products or services in an app and the building of an ecosystem of brands to partner with. Once entering into a partnership with another brand, company, or service, your app helps your partner drive sales or traffic. In return, you get a share of their earnings.

There are different revenue models: a commission can be earned per sale (you get paid if the actual sale goes through), per click (you get paid if the person clicks and lands on your partner’s site), or per lead (you get paid when you deliver a lead, like signing up for a service or filling out a form).

Key features of the referral selling model:

  • It requires little investment
  • It doesn’t need technical integrations or a large team to be put together
  • Building and nurturing affiliate relationships requires time
  • It’s necessary to have a large audience to make it a sustainable revenue model
  • It’s used to promote brands that are relatable to someone’s business

5. Print on demand

Monetizing with print on demand is a great strategy for websites and platforms with a lot of high-quality and user-generated content. Customers can build a successful revenue stream by giving their users or their audience a physical keepsake of their digital content: photo books, physical magazines, photo prints, posters, canvases, and many more.

Key features of the print on demand model:

  • No inventory
  • No investment
  • API integrations to easily connect your app or platform to print on demand services
  • Automatization: once the store is set up, most processes are automated. This leaves time for marketing, creating new content, and optimization
  • Drop shipping: as print on demand companies ship directly to the customer, you won’t have to deal with orders yourself
  • No employees: you can run your store yourself without having to pay anyone
  • Premium quality: the higher quality your content is, the more print products you will sell

The benefits of print on demand with Peecho:

Peecho is a print on demand service collaborating with apps, platforms, magazines, and creatives. We offer our customers the possibility to monetize both their own content and their user-generated content with no up-front investments.

While Peecho takes care of your entire operation, you can make sure that:

  • Your digital files are converted to print-ready files
  • You can choose between a checkout, an API, or a reseller module
  • You can offer your customers and your users a variety of premium printed products: hardcover and softcover books, magazines, art prints, aluminium dibonds, and many more
  • You can sit back and relax while we take care of both production and worldwide shipping: we partner with the best printers across the globe to ensure fast delivery at the lowest cost possible thanks to an order routing system that chooses the printer that is nearest to the recipient
  • We provide free customer support for you and your users
  • You don’t have to pay for any up-front costs
  • You don’t have to stack up in inventory of your products

Does print on demand seem to be the right strategy for your business? Check out our website and help center for additional information, or send us an email at

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