Should I Sell My App or Not? The Free vs. Paid Debate

Should I Sell My App or Not? The Free vs. Paid Debate

12 Nov 2019


Joseph Bridge

Google Play has nearly 2.5 million apps available for download. The Apple App Store has over 1.9 million.

Standing out among all those millions takes more than just a great app. You also have to know how to best get your app into the hands of your users.

One of the biggest questions in that regard is “should I sell my app or give it away for free?” Both options come with their own benefits that you’ll have to weigh according to your goals.

Keep reading to learn about the benefits of both before making this important decision.

When Should I Sell My App?

If you already have a large customer or follower base, then selling your app may be a good option. A paid app signals to customers that yours is a premium product, hence the need to pay a fee to access your app content.

Of course, paid apps bring in more revenue than free apps. But they also generate loyalty among your customer base. However, with that comes the responsibility of creating high-value content and features that are worth paying for. 

The Benefits of Staying Free

If you’re just starting out in the app world, then the chances you have a large existing customer or follower base is slim. Giving your app away for free gives you the opportunity to build that customer base you need.

Because free apps are, for lack of a better word, free, more people are likely to download them. That gives you a better chance of getting your app and your brand into the hands and heads of more users.

Even if you have a following and great user feedback already, new users aren’t likely to purchase something if they can’t try it for free first. But once they’ve downloaded your app, you can begin to build a relationship with your users. You may be able to convert users from that pool at a later time.

Keep in mind too, when your app is free, the expectation around how it functions aren’t as high as they are for paid apps. Meaning that you can work out any outstanding functionality issues before any potential transitions to a paid platform.

A Note About Android Versus iPhone Users

There is one other important thing to consider when you’re deciding whether to make your app a paid or free app. That is, what kind of devices your app is built for.

If you’re targeting Android users, then having a paid app might work against you. Android users are less likely to pay for an app than iPhone users. And although 90% of App Store apps are free, you’re still more likely to have an iPhone user to pay for your service than Android users.

More Advice on All Things Digital

When asking yourself “should I sell my app?”, the first thing you need to consider is what the goal of your app is. If the goal is to build a user base and spread brand awareness, then selling your app will likely work against you. In the case you already have a large following, then a paid app signals that you’re offering a premium product to your clients.

And for more advice and news on all things digital, check out our blog.


Joseph Bridge is a seasoned professional in the field of business development, currently serving as the Business Development Manager at EB Pearls, a dynamic and innovative company in the technology sector. With a strong track record of driving growth and forging strategic partnerships, Joseph brings a wealth of expertise to his role.

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“We’re very happy with the results of EB Pearls’ work. Since its launch, the app has had over 7,000 downloads, with around 6,000 users completing the signup process in the first 6 weeks. ”

Giuseppe Saffioti
Giuseppe Saffioti

— Founder at Intro Dating