Health App Monetization Strategies: Balancing Revenue and User Value

According to a recent study, lack of access has driven over 50% of UK adults to self-diagnose either online or with an app instead of seeing a medical professional.

That means if you’re thinking of building a health app, now’s a good time to lean in. However, given the industry’s competitiveness, it’s crucial to plan for monetization without alienating your users. A solid strategy will depend on your understanding of the market, various monetization models, and the wants and needs of your consumers.

So, what strategies and tactics should you use? Let’s dive right in.

The Freemium Model

This monetization strategy is all about providing part of the solution for free and the rest at a premium. A popular example is the dating app Tinder. While it’s free to download and the basic features are good enough, users have the choice to pay for added features.

If you’re building a health app, customized diet plans, more advanced meditations, and a more extensive library of workouts could be some of the features you could charge a premium for. The idea is to attract more users to try the free features while also giving them the flexibility to upgrade for additional benefits.

Subscription-Based Model

Health apps that use a subscription model for monetization usually offer monthly and annual plans. These apps have a free trial period to entice users to commit to a subscription.

For a subscription model to work, it has to provide more high-value features compared to a freemium app. Another option is to make subscriptions a part of freemium or with other in-app purchase types.

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In-App Purchases

As an app monetization strategy, in-app purchases can be consumable or non-consumable. Consumable purchases are more common in gaming apps (e.g., lives and gems), where users buy, deplete, and repurchase certain items. That doesn’t mean, however, that health apps can’t offer them.

Calorie trackers, for example, can have food analysis, recipe discovery, and other features that can be in-app purchases. Meanwhile, non-consumable purchases don’t expire, allowing users to reach premium features within the app.

Data Monetization

Many e-commerce apps use this strategy. Some health and wellness apps also sell user data to third-party companies to generate significant revenue.

From exercise habits to sleep patterns to biking metrics, and so on, app developers can collect these and “give” them to researchers, healthcare organizations, and marketers who are interested in them. Of course, the challenge with this strategy is ensuring that developers abide by data privacy regulations.

Building a Health App With Monetization in Mind

Whether you use data monetization, in-app purchases, subscriptions, freemium, or a combination of these strategies, always consider what your consumers need and want. Don’t just focus on how you can make money from your app.

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