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Why Buy an App? Simple. The Content

Content outweighs influences like no ads

December 16, 2016 | Mobile | Advertising & Marketing

Most smartphones users in the US shell out money for an app because it has content they want. Almost half of respondents cited this, topping other influences like added features and no ads, according to November 2016 research.

Leading Reasons that US Smartphone Users Pay for Apps, Oct 2016 (% of respondents)

In October, Google and Ipsos polled 999 smartphone users in the US between the ages of 16 and 64 about how they discover and use apps.

According to the data collected, the majority (or 45%) of those respondents who purchased an app, said it was because it included the content they wanted. Just over a third said they were attracted by special features and a third said they wanted an ad-free app.

Whether a consumer downloads a free or paid app, functionality appears to play a critical role in the decision. In related research that looked at factors such as when users would download an app, Tune found that more than a third of respondents said they had a specific task in mind, and felt the app could help. This was the top reason ahead of some others like a friend's recommendation or that an ad for the app looked interesting.

Overall, US smartphone users are spending more time with apps than mobile web options. According to eMarketer numbers, apps will account for 86% of adults' nonvoice smartphone time this year, while the mobile web will account for just 14%.

—Danielle Drolet

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