Apps for Sale! But Are People Actually Buying? - eMarketer

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Apps for Sale! But Are People Actually Buying?

Users want their apps free or cheap—even if they have to see ads

December 1, 2014

Mobile users would rather save a few bucks and face advertisements when choosing which mobile apps to download, based on October 2014 polling by Zogby Analytics for the Digital Advertising Alliance.

Preference for Free vs. Paid Mobile Apps Among US Internet Users, Oct 2014 (% of respondents)

According to the study, 35.7% of US internet users found free or low-cost apps supported by in-app ads the most appealing when downloading mobile apps—the top response. Meanwhile, just 10.1% of respondents were willing to download free or cheap apps that were sans ads and supported by in-app purchases instead, and a mere 2.7% would buck up to avoid having to deal with advertising or purchases in an app.

Would users be willing to pay for the free apps they had downloaded? Not really. Fully 46.4% of internet users said they wouldn’t download any of their free apps again if they had to pay for them. Meanwhile, 15.1% were willing to pay for about 20% of their free (addicting) apps, and just 8.1% would buy all of them.

Engagement with Mobile Ads According to US Mobile Device Users, Oct 2014 (% of respondents)

Recent research suggests that many users may simply ignore the in-app ads that pop up. An AYTM Market Research study conducted in October 2014 found that while more than 72% of US mobile device users had seen ads on their mobile devices—in both apps and browsers—just around one-quarter of those users actually clicked on them. But there was some good news for app advertisers. Mobile users who had clicked on a mobile ad were nearly 10 percentage points more likely to have done so in an app then on a mobile browser.

Estimates released in September 2014 by 451 Research highlighted the opportunity for mobile app advertisers over the coming years. The firm predicted that there would be 1.81 billion active mobile app users worldwide this year—a figure that would rise to 2.17 billion in 2015 and 3.01 billion by 2018.

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