Today, mobile applications have become an integral part of our daily lives. From simplifying tasks to entertaining us, apps have transformed the way we interact with technology. However, behind every successful application is a well thought-out and executed business model. At Yapiko we are going to tell you about the different app business models and how they can influence the success of an app. Another important aspect to ensure its success in the market, which we have already mentioned, is that of the importance of app design.

Introduction to Application Business Models

Definition of applications and their role in today’s marketplace

Applications are software programmes designed to perform specific tasks on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. Their role in today’s marketplace is critical, as they have revolutionised the way we access information, communicate and transact.

Importance of understanding the business models behind the applications.

Understanding the business models behind apps is essential for developers and entrepreneurs who want to launch a successful app. A sound business model can determine the success or failure of an application in today’s highly competitive market.

Application Market Developments

Apps have come a long way since their inception and the evolution of the app market and its impact on everyday life and the business world has been enormous, as we explain below:

Brief history of application development

Application development dates back to the first mobile phones with limited capabilities. It started around the late 1990s and early 2000s, when simple applications, often called “apps”, were developed for mobile devices. As technology has advanced, applications have become more sophisticated and versatile, offering a wide range of functions and services.

Impact of applications on everyday life and the business world.

Apps have completely transformed the way we shop, book travel, communicate with others, as well as many other of our daily activities. In business, applications play a crucial role in improving productivity, optimising processes and generating revenue.

What are Application Business Models?

To be successful in the app market, it is essential to understand the different business models available and how they can be applied to a specific application.

Explanation of the most common business models

There are several application business models, each with its own advantages and challenges. Some of the most common models include advertising, one-off payment, subscriptions, in-app purchases, affiliates, crowdsourcing and premium services.

  • Advertising model involves displaying in-app advertisements to generate revenue by leveraging user traffic.
  • One-off payment requires users to pay an initial fee for downloading the application, which provides immediate revenue.
  • Suscriptions: allow users to access premium content through recurring payments, ensuring ongoing revenues.
  • In-app purchases offer additional functionalities or content within the application in exchange for additional payments.
  • The model of affiliates generates revenue by promoting third party products or services.
  • Crowdsourcing involves users in generating content or performing tasks in exchange for rewards.
  • Premium services offer exclusive access to content or functionalities for an additional fee, providing an enhanced experience for users willing to pay more.

Each model has its own advantages and challenges, and the choice depends on the nature of the application and the preferences of the target audience.

Examples of successful applications for each model

  1. Advertising Model: Facebook is a prime example of an application that generates revenue through advertising.
  2. Single Payment Model: Minecraft is an excellent example of an application with a unique payment model.
  3. Subscription Model: Spotify offers a subscription model for ad-free access to its vast library of music and audio content.
  4. In-App Purchasing Model: Candy Crush Saga is a classic example of an app that uses in-app purchases to generate revenue.
  5. Affiliate Model: Amazon is a benchmark as an application using the affiliate model. Through their affiliate programme, users can promote Amazon products on their blogs, websites or social networks and earn commissions for each sale made through their affiliate links.
  6. Crowdsourcing model: Waze is a navigation application that leverages crowdsourcing to provide real-time information about traffic, accidents and other events on the road.
  7. Premium Services Model: LinkedIn offers a premium service business model for its professional users. Members can opt for premium plans that give them access to additional features, such as direct messages to users outside their network, information on who has viewed their profile and online training courses.

Free Applications Business Models

Free applications are those that users can download and use without having to make an initial payment.

Although users do not pay to download the application, companies still have the ability to generate revenue through various monetisation strategies.

One of the most common strategies is the inclusion of advertisements within the application, where developers are paid for users viewing or interacting with these ads.

Another strategy is to offer premium features or content within the application that users can unlock through in-app purchases.

In addition, some companies choose to offer free versions of their applications with limited functionality, with the option to upgrade to a premium version on a subscription basis.

These strategies allow companies to keep their applications free for users while generating revenue to continue the development and maintenance of the application.

Description of advertising-based models

Ad-based applications leverage advertisements as their main source of revenue by displaying promotional content to users. These ads can take a variety of forms to capture user attention and generate revenue for application developers.

advertising banners are a common form of advertising within applications, appearing at the top or bottom of the screen and may contain static or animated images along with an advertising message.

advertising videos are another popular strategy, where short clips are played before, during or after certain actions within the application.

In addition, the interstitial ads are full-screen advertisements that appear at strategic moments, such as when switching from one screen to another within the application.

These different types of ads allow businesses to maximise their revenue while providing an appropriate and relevant user experience.


In the second part of this blog post we will tell you about the other application business models and the relevant regulations and standards to be taken into account. In addition, we will develop the legal aspects and intellectual property and tell you about the current trends in app business models.

Finally, we will reveal to you some of the tricks we use in the mobile app development at Yapiko’s offices to create a successful application model.