Have you ever seen a paywall in Gmail? I bet you haven’t. But it does! And Google is making great money from its most popular email app.
Since the app started monetizing in 2021, its revenue has been steadily growing every month.
AppFigures estimates that in July, Gmail’s net revenue from the App Store alone was $7.3 million. And that’s net revenue, which is what Google gets after Apple takes its cut.
In January, that amount was $5.1 million, and in January 2022, it was just $1 million. That means Gmail’s net revenue has grown 630% in the last year and a half!
And that’s just on the App Store.
So what is Gmail selling? Storage space.
Gmail offers several subscriptions to increase the amount of messages stored, with the most popular right now being the 100GB subscription. This is a bit different from how it’s done on Android, where purchases are made through the Google One app, which has long been the highest-earning app on Google Play.
On the App Store, Google One makes money too, but not as much.
Developers can learn one lesson from this, aside from the high-profile brand name. The subscriptions that Gmail offers fall easily into the “features you need” category, making the purchase decision pretty easy if you need it.
Instead of showing users a peywave when you want them to, find the features that your users need and make sure they just pay for them when they really need them. That’s how you’ll turn them into paying users.
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