I get asked a lot what is the best pricing model  for apps – is it subscription? Will I go for paid? Or just make everything free? There are best practices in every category, let me share them over:

  • Free – If you are a game, it would be best to make it free as it is difficult to make it if you charge.
  • Paid – The apps which work as paid are productivity, educational, reference apps or the like.
  • Subscription – Apple is promoting a lot of subscription-based apps, so if you are working on health or meditation apps, you might want to look at this option more.

These discussions are what you think about in a granular level but in a macro level, you should ask yourself what people are willing to pay for.  My biggest fear is that nobody would want my product so I ensure that I talk to people to discover if this is really a need that they are willing to spend money on, and how much they are willing to shell out for it. Figure out what will make sense in a business perspective but start breaking the lowest barrier. If you are going to pursue subscription, what will be the lowest price that people will pay for? This will give you an idea if there are real customers and if there are, slowly increase that price.

Start figuring this out and start charging at the earlier possible stage.


Steve Young

Founder at AppMasters
I started building apps in 2011 and my first app hit #8 under educational games. I started making a few hundred dollars a month, but had no idea what I was doing. Then in 2013 I decided to start a podcast so I could pick the brains of app creators that I admired including the co-founder of Shazam, Tapbots, Crossy Road, etc and that changed everything.

Now I run an app marketing agency where we’ve helped 28 clients get featured by Apple, 5X downloads with ASO, and get coverage on Techcrunch, Mashable, Venture Beat and other major publications. I also write about apps on The Next Web, Entrepreneur.com, and on my blog AppMasters.co.