Home Blog Digital magazine app ...

Digital magazine app monetisation: how does it work?

Team PaperLit


Subscriptions shouldn’t be the only focus when it comes to digital magazine apps, even when it comes to monetisation.

With the full range of interactivity and capabilities now available in apps, there’s no reason why your apps shouldn’t become an important source of revenue for your publication.

If you haven’t launched your app yet and you are still planning the features that it should contain, or if you already have one and are looking for new ideas for digital magazine app monetisation, then look no further and browse through our quick guide for creative app monetisation tactics below.

The basics

Let’s begin first with the common elements normally found in a magazine that creates revenue and see how we can adopt it for digital magazine apps.

Firstly, you’ve got your advertorials – articles in your magazine that are paid for or sponsored by an advertiser. Usually, their content is focused on convincing readers to purchase or acquire a service. However, usually the closest call to action in printed magazines is a phone number, an address to their nearest point-of-sale or a website link.


It’s time to boost your digital magazine app downloads:
learn how in our free guide to app promotion and user acquisition!


For digital magazines, you have the advantage of directly completing the chain from reading the advertorial to making a purchase through links, in-app purchases and e-commerce integrations (more on those later).

Aside from advertorials, you also have traditional ads. However, in print magazines, you have been limited by the type of ads and even the size of the ad. In digital magazines, you can have many different ad types. They can be video, gifs, and interactive clickable ads. You can have different rates depending on the type of content and allows you to serve different ad budget ranges.

On subscriptions for print magazines, you’ve only had wiggle room for advance payments of subscription fees; if someone paid for an entire year, they get a bigger discount than if they subscribed only for the quarter.

But when you have a digital magazine app, along with your print magazine, and if you have a website as well with both free and exclusive content, you can offer special rates for print and digital subscriptions together and combining that with the yearly and quarterly subscriptions.

You can also have other digital-only content such as weekly supplements that can have a separate and more affordable subscription package. You can really play around with the subscription packages as you now have more options to offer to your readers.

Digital magazine app monetisation tactics

You’ve seen how digital magazines can expand the way you have been monetising print magazines. However, there are specific things you can implement that will only be available if you actually have a digital magazine app.

The first is e-commerce. Now, we’ve touched on this briefly in the first section, but this really is something that is unique to digital magazine apps. Some of the most innovative magazine apps have started to integrate e-commerce into their digital magazines. If you think about it, it makes perfect sense as you are shortening the steps for your readers to acquire what they want.

Usually, a user would have to manually type in the website after seeing an ad or they would have to click the ad and would be led to another site to complete the purchase. But both of these are intrusive to the reading experience. Why not just have a cart and a check out at the end?

Another way you can monetise your digital magazine app is through affiliate links. These are specific links placed by online sellers that allow you to take a cut of the sales if your reader clicks on the link and completes a purchase. It may sound simple, but the key here is finding products and services that are really related to the main areas you write about and what you know your readers would be interested in.

Here’s one more tip…

Monetising your digital magazine app is great, but you’ll first need to build a strong readership base. To do that, you need a strong app promotion and user acquisition strategy specially designed for digital magazine app publishers.

Luckily for you, we’ve compiled today’s industry best practices in this area, and we’re offering it to you for free. Download our Starter’s Guide to App Promotion and User Acquisition for Magazine and Newspaper App Publishers now!