Enterprise API Strategy Enterprise Marketplace

How a digital products tier adds value to an API monetization strategy

How a digital products tier adds value to an API monetization strategy

How can I accelerate revenue from my API products? It’s a question that’s always top of mind for API providers. While there’s more than one route to get there, an API digital products tier is a helpful addition to your API monetization strategy.

What is an API digital products tier?

APIs facilitate digital products in several ways. Providers may use APIs to enable greater self-service, foster new offerings, or increase the value of digital products.

Even when businesses are doing this, visibility isn’t always there. In most providers’ words, ‘I couldn’t tell you where these things are or how they work together.’

An API digital products tier acts as a mirror, reflecting the things your business is great at providing. Sitting above the tier where you have integration and data planes, this business service tier allows you to:

  • Automatically discover all your APIs no matter where they reside
  • Categorize and group APIs in a meaningful way
  • Productize APIs with business documentation and usage plans
  • Publish APIs in a marketplace that provides user insights

Consider this example: As a financial API provider, you start to group all your APIs related to checking accounts and create reusable assets. You then productize APIs for opening a new checking account.

Through a branded API marketplace, consumers can easily find and request access to these APIs so they can consume your services quickly and augment their own application offerings.

Providers can monitor API usage. Consumers can do the same.

How a digital products tier brings producers and consumers together

API providers want to get a handle on the APIs they have. Consumers are thinking about what APIs are available to them. With an API digital products tier, these two parties can come together in one place to find answers.

Another factor to consider is API accessibility. API providers often ask themselves: How do I make my APIs accessible to my target audience? Consumers ask: How do I learn more about API products before subscribing to them?

With an API marketplace, API providers can make it easy for consumers to find what they need alongside API product documentation and resources. Consumers can see an API product’s value through the marketplace and feel confident in its use.

As this clip from a recent webinar highlights, an API marketplace differs from the traditional API catalog. Here’s how:



See also: An API marketplace is more than just a catalog

Why this extra layer of assets is becoming more critical

If you already have several API resources, you may wonder why you can’t just productize them. Why do you need an API digital products tier to do that?

With a digital products tier as part of your strategy to monetize APIs, you can group your APIs by function and business data. While this makes it easier to find APIs, it also provides visibility into and guidance on how APIs work together.

An API digital product tier allows you to control access to different environments. For instance, you may only want to show consumers APIs that are in QA — and hide those in development. You’ll have that ability and the ability to track deployment.

In some scenarios, you may have an asset with underlying resources that look the same but differ slightly based on their use region. An API digital product tier lets you bundle these variations by geographical regional requirements.

Two different avenues for API monetization

When talking about API revenue, it’s important to note that making money off APIs isn’t always about charging for their use.

In many cases, APIs create internal value that indirectly brings in revenue. For example, it could be a matter of adding functionality to a loyalty program that attracts new customers.

Other times, opportunities for direct API monetization might be best suited for a scenario where customers have to contact a call center to field their requests.



You can create APIs that work together to replace this process with a self-service solution. While creating a direct line of revenue, customers enjoy a faster and easier experience.

Dive deeper: 5 ways enterprises are monetizing APIs.

Drive API revenue faster with an API digital products tier

In a survey of 40,000+ developers and API professionals, 43% of respondents said APIs produce over a quarter of their company’s revenue. An API digital products tier enriches the consumer experience to accelerate this revenue channel.

While reducing the time it takes to find APIs and avoiding API duplication, you can create and launch API products faster. A marketplace layer that makes your business consumable further drives API adoption and related revenue.

Find more tips on how to amplify your API monetization strategy. Watch the webinar.

Key Takeaways

  • Implementing an API digital products tier optimizes API visibility, categorization, and documentation, facilitating faster revenue generation.
  • The tier serves as a marketplace, connecting API providers and consumers, offering accessibility, documentation, and value assessment.
  • A digital products tier enables efficient grouping, visibility, and control over API access, vital for effective API management and deployment.
  • Incorporating an API digital products tier streamlines API discovery, reduces duplication, and fosters faster product launches, ultimately driving revenue growth.