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UK Millennials Like App Play, but Don't Always Pay

Free gaming apps popular among younger consumers

Millennials in the UK are renowned for their affinity with smartphones. July 2014 research from Voxburner indicated that, unsurprisingly, they had a voracious appetite for mobile apps, too. And while 81% of survey respondents—ages 16 to 24—said they used social networking apps on a weekly basis, game apps were not too far behind, cited by 70%.

Types of Apps Actively Used* by UK Millennial Internet Users, by Gender, July 2014 (% of respondents in each group)

Game apps, it seems, are popular with UK smartphone users more generally. December 2013 research by Nielsen found that game apps accounted for 18% of all time spent with smartphone apps in the UK—only social media apps grabbed a greater share, with 29%.

When it comes to paying for apps, the Voxburner study illustrates another somewhat unsurprising trend. For a generational cohort well versed in financial constraints, it was perhaps predictable that only 3% cited a paid-for app as their preferred app option. The majority—54%—said they preferred an ad-supported option, but a sizable proportion—43%—cited an option that allowed for purchases down the line, either via in-app purchasing or the ability to buy the full version at a later date.

Preferred Type of App According to UK Millennial Internet Users, by Gender, July 2014 (% of respondents in each group)

The study went on to indicate that almost one-third of millennials had spent money on an in-app purchase, with 47% having spent up to £5 ($7.81) on such a purchase in the past. So, while millennials may have money-saving in mind when they download their gaming apps, they display a very real potential to spend further down the line.

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