Top 10 Business ideas reincarnated into profitable Apps

2014-08-19 by Marina Astapchik

The fact that all businesses should have mobile presence has become undeniable as more and more people involved in the virtual world provided by gadgets like smartphones and tablets.

With more and more smartphones bought by people around the globe, no one would even impugn the necessity of creating of a mobile application for every business starting from the smallest one to a big corporation.

In the world where the competition among companies has become the predetermining factor whether of a success or a failure, came the realization of the fact that all possible tools should be used to leave your competitors far behind.

Owing to emergence of mobile platforms and mobile apps, many business ideas have got one more chance for their reincarnation or, in other words, have got one more battlefield where they can win, gain trust and loyalty and acquire more customers.

Therefore, lots of business owners realized that a mobile app is the so-called must – have of our time. Business ideas that have been reincarnated into profitable apps let business owners stay afloat and help them gain more profit.

Below there are top 10 business ideas that were reincarnated into profitable apps:

1. Mobile Games Apps

Needless to say that computer games have been on top of popularity for recent years. However with every passing day they are losing their popularity and become substituted by mobile game applications. 

What is more surprising, every one of the 10 most downloaded apps worldwide is a game, of course, taking into account downloads from Apple and Android devices. Moreover, it is not a paid game but a game that can be downloaded for free. And the main question is how a free game can be the most profitable mobile application?

There are many ways to get profit out of the so-called "freemium" types of games: for instance, once the person has downloaded the game for free and has moved to a certain level, it becomes obvious that he has become entirely enthralled by it and will eagerly pay some money either to go to a higher level or to get some extra power or to own additional virtual items in this game.

In addition to it, 93% of game revenue in 2013 was attributed to freemium games which made it really hard for the best paid mobile games apps to compete (see statistics below). Besides that, mobile games apps have already left far behind such gaming consoles as the Playstation Vita and the Nintendo 3DS.

2) Social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and messenger apps including Skype, Line, WhatsApp and WeChat

Official data show that social networks came second in the list of 10 business ideas reincarnated into profitable apps. Doubtless, social networks are of great popularity among people of different ages and the fact that social networks apps have appeared in our smartphones have made them even more popular. While the apps themselves are free, the main profit is made by getting money for placing different kinds of advertisements.

Secondly, there are hundreds of thousands apps sold in social networks applications. Parent companies of sold apps earn millions and, of course, they share their profit with social networks owners as a rental fee.

Thirdly, they offer different kinds of paid options, one of which is "sending a gift". With the price of $1 for the gift and about 900 million users only on Facebook, the estimated profit can be at least $100 million a year.

3) Mobile radio like Pandora, Spotify, Rdio or other music streaming apps

While Radio as the main source of music has lost its popularity due to the emergence of music players in smartphones, the idea of mobile radio has really become a success. Thanks to new features added to mobile radio app like Pandora, this very app has become widely spread and popular. Pandora lets you listen to your favorite music basing on your stated preferences and songs downloaded in your smartphone. It also provides a sleep timer and easy control of music by your car`s touch screen as Pandora has started cooperation with several automobile companies like BMW and Nissan.

As one may expect it, the main profit is made by paying for the absence of advertisements. In spite of the fact that the application was free last year, the decision was made to implement a 40 hour mobile listening cap for its free service due to the rising royalty costs. Nevertheless, due to the 10% decrease in usage after this cap was implemented, the company was forced to remove the 40 hour free usage limit half a year after it.

Whereas the 10% drop was insignificant, the company realized the importance of being free if they wanted to gain new customers and compete with other music streaming apps like Spotify and Rdio

Furthermore, such a streaming music app as Spotify claimed that it should have at least about 24 million paid subscribers (in comparison now they have about 6 million paid subscribers and 18 million unpaid users) in order to become profitable. Due to the high licensing fees from record companies, 70% of its revenue goes towards paying those licensing fees. Of course, many attempts have been made to convince record companies to charge smaller fees, but they are definitely not going to give in. Therefore, the rival music streaming companies make attempts to expand into Mexico, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore and other new markets that will probably push them into bigger profitability.

4) The e-book libraries or book shelves apps

For centuries knowledge has been extracted and grasped from countless books that occupied a lot of space in personal and public libraries. Nowadays there is no more need to go anywhere to take a book or to buy one. The idea of creating e-book libraries apps or book shelves apps made the process of finding the necessary e-book simpler.

From one side, only a limited amount of e-books may be free on such apps, on the other side you may be offered to pay for absence of advertisements that appear on your screen every five minutes. Therefore, their main revenue comes from additional options that turn out to be portals to merchandising opportunities. Among the most popular and profitable e-book library apps one can definitely enumerate Kindle, Google Play Books, Aldiko Book Reader, Goodreads and Audible, etc.

5) Traveler`s guide or navigation apps

In the times where borders are no longer an impediment to visit a new country, endless flows of people rushed towards new skylines. Paper traveler`s guides have been substituted by navigating apps that not only facilitate the process of finding yourself in a new place but which also help to find the nearest bank, restaurant, hotel, gas station and etc. Anything you may need may be easily found at your new mobile app such as Torshvan City App. In contrast to other mobile apps, only 22% of the revenue from navigation apps came from freemium models while 78% came from paid apps and in-apps purchases. Among the most profitable ones such apps as AroundMe, WiFi Finder, SmartTraveler and XE Currency come first.

6) Educational programs apps

The era of information has stimulated the increase of interest to different kinds of educational apps which usually offer a ton of quality free content or which may be entirely free. Needless to say that as more and more children start to own a smartphone, their parents consider acquisition of learning apps an essential part of educational process. Furthermore, parents are more willing to spend money on the learning apps for their children then on games. Therefore, even paid educational apps for kids do not lose their popularity and continue bringing profit.

7) Talking Tom interactive app

It first came to the market as a toy and then was successfully turned into an entertaining mobile app for kids. Hence lots of interactive toys like Tom appeared and continue to boom the market in the quantity of downloads even though being paid apps. Only from Apple store there have been 190 million apps downloaded since the Talking Tom was launched.

8) Mobile Gyms and Fitness Clubs Apps

Health and Fitness Apps become of interest for thousands of people overwhelmed by the idea to lose weight, to become slim and fit, to build muscles or simply to be healthy with the help of regular exercises, useful tips and video fitness trainings. Here the money is also made either by offering additional options or by placing advertisements of sport related items.

9) Free shopping and retail discounts app CheckPoints, created by inMarket in 2010

List Bliss app became its sequel which simplified grocery shopping by creating lists, tracking ingredients in pantries, offering sharing options, and reviewing coupons and products. The attention to details let them gain devotion of more than 20 million users and placing advertisements let them make profit.

10) Content summarizing app named Summly

Created by a 17-year-old boy from London, the application turned Nick into a millionaire after it was bought by Yahoo. The app simplifies information and provides quick content summaries from thousands of sources. Needless to say that despite the fact that Yahoo made this app a paid one, there are many companies willing to have it and pay for it.

For many entrepreneurs it goes without saying that a mobile app can generate a profit, nevertheless this assumption can turn out to be erroneous. In practice, many apps lose their users within the first two — three months and only 0.01 percent of all mobile apps will succeed in generating profit by 2018. Surprisingly, but among the top grossing apps stay only those ones which belong to freemium model type.

Therefore, for those who have made their decision to reincarnate a business idea into a profitable app, the examples cited above would be a valuable what-to-do guide.

Elinext Group mobile apps projects:

Torshavn City App
Recipe cost calculator (RCC)
Premiere Ukraine Tours
CanaryVoice Albums App

Industries and Technology Areas:

Industries: IT

Technology Areas: mobile application development, software development, iOS, Android




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