With the rise in popularity of Clubhouse, and the growing understanding of the dominant role established entities that came before it, even the most non-technical person can understand the power in platforms. For an end-user, they give a space for selected socialization without limitations of physical location. For those doing the building, it provides a plethora of information and metrics.
Information and metrics are great to have, but in truth, performant platforms are expensive to run. In respect to that, at a point sooner rather than later, having an idea on how to monazite your platform is vital.
Locking In On Your Key Demographic
This may not seem like it at first, but it is an important first step in making money off a platform. To see this better, let’s look at the early days of Facebook. This now monstrous app first came out as a simple social platform for ivy league college students. From there it grew to being available to all colleges before opening up to everyone and going public.
The main draw to Facebook, outside of it being addicting, was of course that it is free. Think about it, would they have been able to grow as fast if there was a fee associated with using it? No! They understood their overall market as students with little to no extra money to spend to use their app. They focused on the reality of their endusers, and it paid off in the end!
In short, understanding your market is critical to monetizing a platform because that will show you what available options you have in front of you.
Keying In On Value
One of the tougher things to figure out when looking at any platform, or app in general honestly, is what is the actual value being provided. This is a question that not only emphasizes the purpose of your platform, but also the validity you have in trying to charge your end-users.
For instance, in a platform where users access it to post questions and solicit answers, it wouldn’t be far fetched to charge a fee per X amount of questions asked. Obviously to build up your user base, have a freemium option where they earn credits to ask questions by answering others. This works because the value of this platform is asking questions.
Subscriptions or Advertisement
Now onto the most interesting part, getting paid for your platform. We’ve already covered the needed prerequisites in getting to this point. So now, it’s time to take all that into consideration in deciding which route, or combination, to profit works best. The most common, and tested, routes are subscriptions, ads, and freemium.
Subscription paywalls on a platform work quite simple. After keying in on the value your platform provides to end-users, take that and attach a fee model based on either X amount of days or interactions. Depending on the purpose of your platform and targeted demographic, it is even possible to have both.
The most tried and true route to generating income for a platform, advertisement. Advertisement on a platform works just like any other space in the world. Selling off visual real estate on your platform in accordance with how to prominent it will be in end-users visual range.
Of course, this will more than likely include selling off user data from interacting on your platform to be able to have targeted ads, but that’s really just the name of the game these days.
Platforms, when put the time to properly grow and scale, can be very fruitful ventures. Of course, with a tad bit of help from lady luck and proper market introduction timing. However, a big piece of that growth depends on having an understanding of the things we just discussed. A platform can easily be complexly killed off simply by introducing the wrong paywall to end-users. Always keep that in mind when building out your applications.