Monetize Your City APP

Posted by paul on25.07.2012

You created an application for your city, fair or event. That is Great. Now Monetize!

Apps for fairs and events are growing in popularity as they serve as a lasting marketing and advertising avenue to have direct contact with city, event and fair goers. Knowing that each city, fair and event is different, we want to tackle the issues of whether a mobile app is ripe for your city, fair and/or event. There will be a series of blogs written about the topics that you should consider before creating an app.

This blog will be about how to monetize your city, fair or event app.

Many times we get asked how an app can be monetized. From a individual developer’s perspective, one can monetize via ads, up front purchases, subscriptions, and/or contract work. These monetization options can work for an individual developer, but would they work for the city, fair or event after the app is made?

Lets take a look if the monetization options make sense for your city, fair or event app.

Up front purchases:
One of the main funnels in downloading an app is not around whether the app is great or not. The main question is, “Is the app free or paid?” I am guilty of this and I create apps! I would advise against these options as a typical user would not purchase an app that is geared towards going to a city, a fair or event. Although a user would gain tremendous value from a native application, the general perception of apps around the nature of cities, fairs and events is that they should be free to download and access to all features without having to upgrade. The visitor will be spending money in the city, fair or event, so the app can be used as a marketing too to accelerate purchases while at the suggested venues.

Similar to up front purchases, the subscription model would not hold as a person would visit a city, fair or event for a certain period of time and charging them a monthly and or yearly fee just does not make the most sense.

Ad Bars:
Integrating with an advertising agency such as Admob may generate some money, but it will not maximize the return on investment of an app. Ad bars give apps a tacky feeling as many people are deterred when using an app that has ads.

Now that we have ruled out the main monetization strategies of an app, HOW can a marketing director monetize their application?


Many times, a city, fair or event has sponsors sponsoring booths, banners, stages, venues, commercials etc. Having an app increases exposure of your sponsors to your customers. In the our downloads blog, we discussed the potential target market to download your app. Having a 35%+ penetration rate of your customers means more facetime for sponsors!

Take a step back and think about it: More face-time and direct exposure of your sponsors to your customers means more value! A sponsor looking to spread awareness of their brand and products would be more than willing to pay a pretty penny to be included in your app.

So now you figured out the monetization method. How do you charge for placement within your app?

Sponsors are paying for impressions, so the more impressions you can make, the more the sponsorship is worth. As a result, you can add a premium to the packages you are publicizing to your sponsorships!

If done correctly, you can become cash-flow positive after paying to create the app!
Base2Apps is an application development company that strives to inform and educate people interested in creating city, fair and event mobile applications.

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