Doing research on competition – How do I find certain information?

Hi,

I'm currently helping a friend out researching on competition. The idea is a mobile journal app for iOS and Android. We've identified 5 key competitor apps, but are struggling to find some information – or at least, information that can help us make an educated guess. Here are the factors that we need a little guidance on where to dig out information on or related to it:

  • Monetisation model: For ones with in-app purchase and for this research purpose, is there a way to find out the cost(s) without paying all the in-app purchases? Also, does Apple App Store indicates that the app has ads? I know Google Play indicates this. Are there other ways I can find out how they are making money? The apps tend to have a website and social media, but these channels aren't promoting anything that helps them generate revenue (e.g. sign up now to get a discount code for an annual subscription)
  • Size/ Profitability: Definitely have no clue on where I may be able to find this
  • Marketing strategy: The competitor apps don't seem to be doing any kind of e-newsletter. At best, they send a welcome/verify email address email after you signed up, and then nothing. As mentioned, I have also checked out their social media thoroughly. Are there other ways I can find out a bit more about their marketing strategy?

Thanks.

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