This approach has made Tinder one of the highest-grossing apps worldwide
With over 50 million registered users, Match Group’s Tinder is a great example of an app that is a tidy money earner due to in-app purchases. The Tinder dating app is free to download, but makes money by charging users for bonus features like unlimited swipes, which give users endless opportunities to match. Tinder’s “Passport” add-on allows users to match with users in other locations, while “Boost” allows users to bump their profile to the top of the pile of users in their area. In Q1 of 2018, Match Group reported generating over $407.4 million in revenue. Tinder charges $9.99 a month for a Plus subscription and $ for a Tinder Gold upgrade.
Bumble is a close competitor with 50 million users and an impressive growth rate of 135%. The app was estimated to make $172 per minute in 2018 thanks to its monthly $9.99 subscription option and premium features like Bumble Boost and SuperSwipe.
Pandora, Tencent Video, and iQiyi are also high up on the list of top-grossing apps. Subscriptions generate the majority of these apps’ revenue. Video-streaming apps like Hulu and Netflix operate on subscription-based method as well.
AnchorFree’s Hotspot Shield is an app that has proven to be useful on a number of globally important issues. The app allows users worldwide to access a virtual private network (VPN). This technology was crucial during the Arab Spring, as it allowed users to bypass government censorship. Subscriptions cost users $5.99 a month for a year of service, or $ on a month-to-month basis. Hotspot Shield reached 650 million installs as of 2019, and remains one of the top-grossing apps on the iTunes App Store.
On a smaller scale, privately owned apps are also generating a significant amount of revenue. The Telepathic, Inc. app Hooked is relatively simple, and yet it rarely strays from the App Store’s top-grossing books category. Users gain access to suspenseful stories in the form of text message conversations through weekly, monthly, and annual subscriptions. The app hooks users in with engaging stories but requires them to subscribe in order to find out the ending.
Personal trainer Kayla Itsines’ Sweat app is a top-grossing app that serves as a great example for beginning app developers. The app provides subscribers with 28-minute workouts, diet plans, and yoga videos. Sweat quickly gained a cult-like following after its release in late 2015 and currently generates $100 million in revenue yearly. Itsines and her husband are worth a combined $46 million.
Apps Aren’t Just for Mobile Phones
Apps have branched out Niche dating apps from the cellular platform as more integrated smart devices have entered the market. Smart TVs are a staple in more than 70 million homes in the United States. The most popular apps used on Smart TVs are ones that are appropriate for the medium and already have a very large, existing user base such as Netflix and Hulu.
Smart speakers like Alexa and Google Home have also dominated the app market. Ownership of these devices is predicted to skyrocket to million by 2020 with a steady growth of third-party app purchases that surpass 1500%.
Unlike Tinder, Bumble allows only women to initiate a conversation on the app and has also grown to include sister apps for networking and finding friends
If it makes sense on the platform, it is worth keeping Smart TVs and home devices in mind when designing your app. Expansion of platform offerings not only increases exposure for your app but also opens it to new revenue streams.
Similarly, today’s hottest video game consoles have their own app stores. A number of apps can be found on each platform, including Netflix, Youtube, Hulu, and Amazon. These are successful apps offering their services on new platforms to make it more convenient for their users. It’s a good option, but not necessarily a great fit for most people.