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Younger Users in Japan Enthusiastic About (Free) Apps

80% of younger users say they won’t pay for apps

May 10, 2016 | Demographics | Mobile

Smartphone users ages 10 to 29 in Japan are generally unwilling to download paid apps, research by Nyle reveals. Those who do pay for apps, however, are rarely willing to spend beyond ¥1,000 (about $9.23)—if they’ll even spend that.

Amount that Youth/Young Adult Smartphone Users in Japan Are Willing to Spend on a Smartphone App, Nov 2015 (% of respondents)

Of those surveyed who expressed a willingness to download paid apps, most commonly, that threshold was ¥200 (roughly $2). Only 3% of people said that if the app offers what they’re really looking for, they don’t consider the cost. So it’s clear that younger smartphone users in Japan won’t tolerate paying much for an app.

But it’s worth figuring out what that threshold is, and what younger users prefer, because users are downloading apps often. Nearly 10% say they download mobile apps almost daily, and another 11% every two to three days. With 11% also downloading apps once per week, that makes for nearly a third of responses.

Frequency with Which Youth/Young Adult Smartphone Users in Japan Download Mobile Apps, Nov 2015 (% of respondents)

With less than 30% responding that they download apps just a few times a year, it’s fair to say that younger users are certainly enthusiastic about apps.

And when it comes to finding new apps, users frequently turn to Google Play’s app store. Over 75% of users visit the app store when looking for something new, but that 36.2% of respondents who say they discover apps via word-of-mouth echoes not just a user base, but an enthusiastic, engaged one.

eMarketer estimates that 44% of the population in Japan in 2016 are smartphone users; we project that by 2020, that figure will grow to 51.2%.

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