API managers who have developed an API now face the problem of figuring out a revenue generation model that makes sense to their company’s initiatives. Though there are many API business models out there, a way to group them is with 3 basic strategies; inclusion, independence, and incorporation.
Inclusion means that your API is a free-to-consume add-on to an existing service. The goal of this strategy is to nudge users to consume more resources and thus increase payment plans. An independent API means that the API charges the user per the amount consumed. Nordic APIs recommends a “Pay as you Go” strategy for API-centric companies. Lastly, incorporation means that users are only granted access to the API if they are on a premium payment plan.
Next comes measuring your consumer’s usage activity in order to invoice correctly. Splunk, Mixpanel, and Segment are good tools for analyzing your metrics. API management platforms such as 3Scale, Mashape, and Layer 7 can expedite monetization needs as well.