The quick guide to monetisation

These are the simplest ways to generate revenue from your app.



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

  1. Subscriptions

  2. In-App purchases

  3. Paid app download

  4. Apple/Google Pay (for physical purchases and donations)

  5. Sponsorship & advertising

  6. Affiliates

  7. Store links


All revenues coming from subscriptions, in-app purchases or Price Downloads are subject to App Store 30% tax. Clear attempts to bypass these, like having a subscription on a website, will stop Apple from  approving your app. Talk to us if you are 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.

1. Subscriptions

You can use the following payment models for your app: 

  • Free - free access to the app
  • Freemium - having some of the app free and a single subscription to give access to one or more sections of the app
  • Premium - charging a subscription for access to the whole of the app

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

Free trial - that auto renews 

A limited free trial of 7, 30 or 90 days with members' payment details taken at the start of the free trial. This means at the end of the trial, if subscription is not cancelled, the payment will automatically renew. This is a standard model used by Spotify, Netflix and Amazon.

Free trial - that cuts access unless they pay

You may decide to give members free trial without taking their payment details. This means that when the trial is over, the members will lose the access to the premium content in the app and will need to manually upgrade to a subscription to regain this 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).

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 all app pricing, it must be selected from the Apple Pricing Tiers.

4. Apple Pay and Google Pay (for physical purchases and donations)

For physical purchases, you are able to accept payment using Apple Pay and Google pay. 

Not-for-profit organisations can use Apple Pay to accept donations (Apple uses this to check that donations only go to real not-for-profit organisations so other donation methods are not allowed, but the link can fall back to a website if Apple Pay fails). 

5. 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. Pre-roll video – You can add a brand video to play before the video post.
  3. Landing page – A portrait image displaying branded content to appear once members open the app.
  4. The 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. 

6. 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.  

7. Store links

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

  • You 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.


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