Choosing a business model

The App Store empowers you to scale your app distribution worldwide using a variety of business models. The right business model for your app balances your goals with your target market’s expectations. Choosing your business model before developing your app can inform your app design decisions for a cohesive user experience.


With free models, users don’t pay to download or use your app. Removing the barrier of price increases the likelihood that users in your target market will download and try your app, which can help increase awareness and expand your user base. If you’re looking to grow your brand or attract a large user base, consider offering your app for free.

Free without monetization. Your app doesn’t offer in-app purchases or the ability to buy physical goods or services within the app, and doesn’t display advertisements. You don’t earn any revenue from your app.

Free with physical goods and services. Users can purchase physical goods and services — such as clothing or food — within your app or order rides from transportation services. You earn revenue from these sales.

Free with display advertising. Display advertisements are part of the app experience and you earn revenue when presenting them. Make sure that all display advertisements in your app are appropriate and relevant to your target market, as low-quality, obtrusive, or inappropriate advertising reduces engagement and retention.

Your app and any third-party SDKs you use to help target display advertising or measure advertising efficacy need to follow the Data Use and Sharing and the Advertising sections of the App Store Review Guidelines.

Reader. Users purchase or subscribe to content — such as magazines, newspapers, books, audio, music, or video — outside of your app and enjoy access to that content within your app. You generate revenue outside of the app. For more information, see the “Reader” Apps section of the App Store Review Guidelines.


With freemium models, users pay nothing to download your app and are offered optional in-app purchases for premium features, additional content, subscriptions, or digital goods. Freemium apps are accessible to all users, regardless of whether or not they choose to spend, and offer the option to pay to enhance or customize the experience. You earn revenue from the sales of in-app purchases within your app. Successful freemium apps operate as services that are continually updated to attract and retain users. You can offer multiple types of in-app purchases, including subscriptions.

In-app purchase types

Consumable. Users can purchase different types of consumables, such as lives or gems in a game, to further their progress through an app. Consumable in-app purchases are depleted as they’re used, and can be purchased again.

Non-consumable. Users can purchase non-consumable, premium features within an app. Non-consumables are purchased once and do not expire, such as additional filters in a photo app. Apple can host content associated with your non-consumable in-app purchases.

Auto-renewable subscriptions. Users can purchase access to services or periodically updated content, such as monthly access to cloud storage or a weekly subscription to a magazine. Users are charged on a recurring basis until they decide to cancel. Learn more about subscriptions.

Non-renewing subscriptions. Users can purchase access to services or content for a limited duration, such as a season pass to streaming content. This type of subscription does not renew automatically, so users need to renew each time.

If you wish, you can allow users to access content or services across multiple Apple devices, as well as other platforms. If you offer any multiplatform functionality, be sure any purchasable items or services outside of the app are also available as in-app purchases within your app. For more information, see the Multiplatform Services section of the App Store Review Guidelines.

Learn about different freemium experiences

App Store Small Business Program

The App Store Small Business Program is designed to accelerate innovation and help propel your small business forward with the next generation of groundbreaking apps on the App Store. It features a reduced commission rate of 15% on paid apps and in-app purchases, so you can invest more resources into your business to continue building quality apps that customers love.

Learn about the program