Unity has made creating apps for the Apple App Store and Google Play extremely easy with its Unity editor and tools. You only need to create one codebase to distribute to all the stores. And they have even developed services to allow for extending your apps and adding additional streams of revenue into the project even easier.
but which stream is right for you and your app? And does your potential income align with your monetary goals, business goals, and development skills? Would a monetization method that is more expensive and requires more development effort be a better option in the long run if it makes you more money?
Reading: How to make money with unity
this discussion of the typical ways developers make money from their unity apps will help you answer these questions.
There are many methods to monetize your unity app. however, I will talk about the best known:
- full price
- unity iap
- unity announcements
- unity resource store
sell your app at full price
When the app store first launched in July 2008, the only way to monetize your app was to sell it at full price.
In 2008, there were only about 23,000 apps and games on the Apple App Store, compared to about 2.2 million apps and games combined in 2018.
earning potential in those early days was significantly higher. small, short, simple apps selling for $1.99 were making enough of a profit for the developer to allow him to quit his day job. this was because the competition and market were small, and the user base was much less sophisticated about the quality of their app content.
Full price business models are still the easiest to set up and predict sales from within your applications. The revenue you generate is 70 percent of your app’s total price due to Apple and Google Play trimming (this does not include any currency conversion fees). With this in mind, you can roughly calculate that the total price of the number of apps being downloaded correlates 10:7 to the amount of revenue it will generate.
if you want to configure this for your unity app, you don’t need to do anything specific. simply create your build, then upload it to the appropriate app store and set the price as desired.
in 2011, in-app purchases (iaps) were introduced. These items can be small, like cosmetic updates, or large, like the ability to unlock the full version of your app.
Along with the size of the iap it can offer, there are currently three different types of iap:
Consumable items are those that are reduced by one when used. they can only be used a set number of times (usually once). For example, the jellyfish used in King’s Candy Crush Saga is consumable. non-consumable items can be used multiple times. an example is an upgrade to your character’s armor. once purchased, the character will use it all the time. Subscription items are those where the user will be charged a fixed amount per month, year, or whatever frequency is set by the developer. The subscription option was first introduced in 2016. For example, getting access every month to all updates and all unlocked content in an app is via subscription.
unity iap requires a little more development effort to set up, but it does mean that you remove the limit on the revenue you can generate from any application you create. By adding IAPs, you will not only be limited to earning a single amount from the sale of an app on the app store; instead, you could earn multiple times, depending on the number of iaps you set up and the number of times they can be purchased.
To set this up for your unity app, you need to select the in-app purchase option from the services window within your unity project. you should then select the appropriate coppa option and then save your changes.
You must first have created your app in the appropriate app store in order to set up your app id and in-app purchases. then once verified, you can set up your app id and set up your in-app purchases within unity with the same rates and costs as in the app store.
the amount of money you make with iap is always a bonus if you offer these apps at full price. The best way to maximize income from IAPs is to carefully watch the IAPs you sell and for what amount. If you find that you are selling more $1.99 items than $4.99 items, you may want to consider changing the cost of the £4.99 items or increasing the price of the £1.99 items.
The time of year, external factors (eg, annual events), and the item itself should all be considered when adjusting item prices and choosing to remove items. be sure to review all the evidence (hopefully backed up by your app’s analysis!) before making any changes.
So, the potential income can be hit or miss at first, but if you find a pattern, you could make a lot of extra money with just one application.
Freemium means that you offer an app as a free download and provide the user with an IAP option within the app. This business model combines a free app with an IAP option.
freemium is now commonly used by application developers as users like to try before they buy. this gives them the free option to try out some of the app’s features before committing to a larger purchase.
the amount of development effort here is the same as for an iap application.
This business model can be unpredictable. Although you can predict based on past IAPs sales, you can’t be sure how many of the free downloads will convert to paid in-app purchase sales. it’s important to maximize your chances of achieving this by designing your free product to showcase its best features without giving everything away right away.
It’s hard to tell when ads were first introduced to apps, but from what I’ve seen, they’ve been there almost since the beginning. however, this method of monetization has become diverse in itself, and there are now different types of ads to choose from to integrate into your app. With Unit Ads, you can select ad categories that are most relevant to your app so your audience is more likely to engage with them. For more information, see the Unit Ad Publishers page. the following are different types of unit ads.
Interstitial ads are static or dynamic image-based ads. they occupy the entire screen of your device when active and are set to activate at specific times during the application flow.
Incentivized ads give the user a reason to interact with the ad. for example, they may be rewarded with in-app money or items in exchange for interacting with the ad.
Banner ads are the oldest type of ad. these typically take up the bottom sixth of your device screen and are displayed at any time, even for the entire duration of the app session. these ads are the least intrusive to the user’s application session, and are generally not the most interesting to watch. this could be because they are designed not to take too much attention away from the main function of the application.
Video ads are usually incentivized. but there are some that simply want the user to see the ad without offering anything to get their attention.
To integrate ads into your unity app, within the unity editor, open the services window and select the in-app purchase option.
Ads are all about getting clicks and views. the more you have, the more money you can earn. But to make a lot of money from ads, you need a larger user base, as payments usually come from thousands of views and clicks.
unit asset store
the asset store is a unique marketplace for unity developers. provides objects to use within your project from individual assets, such as a chest for completing projects as a scrambled word game.
once you have created your project or assets within your project, if you want to try to make more money from your efforts, you can try to sell the project assets and/or the entire project in the asset store (provided you have all rights to your project assets). you earn 70 percent of your asset store sale (the unit takes a 30 percent cut).
To do this, you need to sign up for an asset store publisher account and fill in the relevant information. When you upload your asset, you must provide screenshots and other metadata to help potential buyers learn more about your asset so they can purchase it. For more information, see the Unity website’s instructions on how to sell your assets.
what is the best for your project?
The ways that you choose to monetize your app is a decision that must be thought about very carefully. It can affect the type of user your app attracts and the number that convert to buyers.
You need to make sure that the type of monetization method you integrate is something your target user expects, is used to, and wants to use. So getting feedback from them on their previous app purchases can give you an idea of the types of monetization methods they prefer to use, ads, subscriptions, or maybe iaps.
It can be tempting to offer a variety of methods to try to capture the majority of users, but each type you add can be more expensive to implement. keep costs low at first and focus on a maximum of two per project.
If you’re still not sure which types to use in your app, implement different types in your app catalog. if a method doesn’t work as well, you know it may not be the best option for your audience. then you can change it to something that may be working better. it all depends on your feedback.
continue to receive feedback from your users directly and indirectly to assess which monetization method is the best for you to earn money with your project.