Since the early days of mobile development, monetization has always represented a key aspect for developer success.
The very first monetization model, still popular today among developers, was the paid app model. Also called “premium,” this model allows developers to monetize their content by charging for it up front, but it carries an inherent risk. This paywall often represents an obstacle to user acquisition.
Later came advertising, which also continues to be a viable app monetization model. Ads allow developers to give out their app for free, which can help propel download rates and contribute to an app’s popularity. Ads have their own associated risk, however, since they may spoil the user experience.
In an effort to offer the best of both worlds—removing upfront costs while still charging for some content—a new monetization model was introduced: in-app purchasing (IAP). In-app purchasing offers a low barrier to entry since there is no cost to download or install an IAP app. However, access to premium content and features is gated by a paywall inside the app itself. This combination of “free download” plus “premium content” is why IAP is also known as “freemium.” It is now one of the most popular monetization models for developers creating apps and games today, if not the most popular.
IAP has been especially successful for developers offering subscription content like news, magazines, and streaming media. Because the subscription model allows for recurring customer payments at regular intervals (weekly, monthly, quarterly, etc.), a key benefit is the long-term revenue stream it can help build for your app.
This eBook will guide you through the steps necessary to add IAP to your Android app. Together, we will implement, from scratch, an Android application that uses the Amazon In-App Purchase APIs to allow the in-app purchase of a magazine subscription.