Monetization of data assets is an exciting aspect of the API economy. The fact that a new revenue stream can be generated by charging for API usage has piqued the interest of entrepreneurs and executives alike. APIs truly are the digital glue that help developers in connecting the dots to design compelling user experiences. There are a number of ways APIs bring value to an organization; we’re focused, in this post, on the ability of APIs to generate direct revenue.
Lately, we’ve seen an increased interest among API providers to start charging for their APIs. For the most part, this interest had been from enterprise users who had already deployed an API management solution, had built some experience with the product and API lifecycle management, and were ready to explore the API commercialization opportunities. With the API economy heating up, we are now seeing an interest across the board; API providers—from startups to large enterprises—want to leverage the monetization capability of their API management solution.
IBM API Connect provides a comprehensive solution to manage the entire API lifecycle giving users the ability to create, run, manage and secure APIs and microservices. We’re continually iterating to enhance our users’ experience. And this is no different with the new monetization capability that is coming soon in API Connect. We’ve been spending a good amount of time working with our clients to better understand their API monetization vision, and iterating on designs that fit their need. For API Connect’s monetization feature, the user experience we envision is this:
- API product managers can use the APIM Admin UI to configure key billing and payment options to enable various API pricing models, while having the flexibility to use the OOTB billing system or integrate with the organization’s existing enterprise billing system.
- API product managers can choose from commonly used charge models (such as, freemium, flat or usage-based, etc.) and easily configure product pricing without having to write any custom code.
- App developers can log into the Dev Portal and register for a monetized API plan, and also manage payment and invoicing preferences through the same UI .
As we listen to our clients, we learn about the various API pricing strategies they are exploring; those range from charging a flat monthly rate for high-value data to creating a tiered plan that uses a freemium model to promote usage. These live usecases, along with our clients’ timeline to bring their API products to market, is what drives our product design.
We invite you to connect with us to share your vision for generating direct revenue from APIs.