How Can I Monetise my Community?

An important part of building your strategy is to think about how to monetise your community. These are the simplest ways to generate revenue from your Mobile App community.

If you choose to monetise your app, there are many ways to do this with the Disciple platform. 

  1. Subscriptions

  2. In-App purchases

  3. Paid app download

  4. Sponsorship and advertising

  5. Affiliates

  6. Store links


All revenue you make from paid app downloads, subscriptions or in-app purchases is subject to a 30% fee from Apple's App Store and Google's Play Store unless you apply for their small business programs, bringing the fee down to 15%.

✨You can apply for the small business programs following this guide. ✨

Clear attempts to bypass these fees, like having a subscription on a website, will stop Apple from approving your app. Talk to us if you're unsure about any monetisation option.

Disciple doesn't take any commission from your revenue, and all app payments will go through your own Developer Accounts.

If you are hosting a subscription through the web version, Stripe will deduct a 3% service fee.


1. Subscriptions

You can use the following payment models for your app: 

  • Free – members get free access to the app and all content
  • Freemium – free to join the community but subscriptions are used to access some of the content and features.
  • Premium – charging a subscription for access to the whole of the community.

You can set both Freemium and Premium models alongside a Multi-tier subscription model.

If you choose to use a Premium model, there are two ways of offering this:

  • Free trial that auto renews
    Google's Play Store lets you choose the specific number of days you want your community's free trial to last. For Apple's App Store you can choose between: 3 days, 1 week, 2 weeks, 1 month, 2 months, 3 months, 6 months or 1 year. Members' payment details are taken at the start of the free trial. This means at the end of the trial, if the subscription is not cancelled, the payment will automatically renew. 
  • Free trial that ends access unless Members pay
    You may decide to give members a free trial without taking their payment details. This means that when the trial is over members will lose their access to the premium content in the app and will need to manually upgrade to regain access. 

2. In-App Purchase (IAP) 

Whichever model you go for you can also add in-app purchases (these are one-off purchases):

  • The in-app purchase unlocks a section of the app and future content that gets placed in these sections (good for courses or paid support).
  • An individual or group of files unlocked by an in-app purchase (good for ebooks or music albums).

Some hosts offer low-cost subscriptions (often annual) with in-app purchases for premium content (e.g. courses included in the subscription, but the full course textbook downloadable as an ebook).

If you're looking to set up an in app purchase please contact your Customer Success Manager or help@disciplemedia.comand we can talk more about how to set this up.

3. Paid app download 

Users pay upfront to get the app.  This works for apps that have a very clear value proposition that can be explained before purchase.

Please note when choosing your app pricing, it must be selected from the Apple Pricing Tiers.

4. Sponsorship and advertising 

You may choose to partner with a brand to sponsor your community. You'll be able to offer the following app placements: 

  1. Sponsored post – The post will be marked as 'sponsored' to differentiate it from standard posts. The post can have an action button (for example 'Click here' or 'Find out more') allowing members to click on additional content hosted externally (for example a web store).
  2. Landing page – A portrait image displaying branded content to appear once members open the app.
  3. A partner brand's own feed – The brand can have their own feed within your app menu with the same functionality as the host feed. 

The Disciple platform doesn't support ad platform integration as these dramatically reduce app store ratings and user retention.  Instead, we recommend choosing and working with a few relevant partners to sponsor your community. A great advantage to this model is that you don’t have to share your ad revenue with the app stores.

5. Affiliates

There are a variety of affiliate programs that can be used in your community. Generally, these work using custom links. For example, Amazon offers commission on purchases made through their affiliate programmes. Here are more details on Amazon's Affiliate Programmes:

You could also think about using voucher codes or discounts helps motivate buyers and increase affiliate revenue.  

6. Store links

Linking to online stores is an easy way for brands to raise revenue from communities. There are four types of online store:

  • Your own online store – if you've got an online store you can link to it and offer exclusive deals for community members.
  • Your store on a shopping platform – eBay, Amazon or Etsy.
  • A branded store – created and managed by a supplier and simply branded as yours, for example using stackcommerce.
  • An on-demand service – from merchandise and clothing to books and on-demand services, an on-demand service allows you sell your products with no overheads.  Suppliers include:

Monetising a not-for-profit community 

Not-for-profit communities can generate revenue to support the community if it's done carefully, transparently and in a way that doesn't disrupt from the purpose of the community. For example you could allow members to purchase branded merchandise using an affiliate link. 


Get in touch with us if you have any questions about monetising your community.