This way of monetizing the app is more appropriate for those with a solid amount of users – but you can aim for it while attracting those users. It’s similar to the way you might look for a sponsor for a racing team or an event.
What could you offer to your sponsors? As in sports, the biggest thing you can provide is title sponsorship. This would modify your app’s name, but it can be beneficial for your sponsor if you address the audience that is relevant to his or her industry. It’s easier to get into such partnerships for companies that are outside the mobile-app industry – they gain both potentially interested users and an app.
There are forms of sponsorship that require fewer resources – buying an in-app advertisement, a set of push notifications, a sponsor-named feature or integration, or location-based offers. Whatever is relevant to them and your users.
Time to monetize!
There’s plenty of other forms of monetization. You just have to find out which will work in your case – and if it won’t, just try another one.
Your focus, however, should still be enlarging your customer base – the number of people who actually use your apps. The bigger that number, the bigger the potential for monetization. So focus on making the app great – the profits will follow.