A new report focused on app price changes over time by app
analytics provider Flurry confirms the trend toward more
mobile applications going free continues. Flurry, whose
analytics service now runs in nearly 350,000 mobile
applications, found that around 80 to 84 percent of iOS apps
were free between 2010 and 2012, but by 2013, 90 percent of
iOS apps in its network were now free.
But it doesn’t mean that the free apps aren’t making money, of
course. Apps often generate revenue through advertisements,
in-app purchases, or by pushing a portion of their users to
premium, paid version of a mobile app – perhaps for the
purpose of removing the ads. In this latter scenario, the
upgrade cost to go ad-free is typically $0.99 or $1.99.
In the report Flurry explored and revealed preference
for free content over content free of ads by examining
four years worth of pricing information for the nearly
350,000 apps that used Flurry Analytics.
The answered questions like, what are consumers
choosing? Let’s see the various trends that exist in “free
content vs. content free of ads” battle
Users on Android are less willing to pay for
mobile apps than those on iOS
Among those developers who carefully tested users’ willingness to pay at
various price points, there was a notable move to free apps in recent months.
While consumers may not like in-app advertising, their behavior makes it
clear that they are willing to accept it in exchange for free content, just as
we have in radio,TV and online for decades. In light of that, it seems that
the conversation about whether apps should have ads is largely over.
Developers of some specialized apps may be able to monetize through
paid downloads, and game apps sometimes generate signiﬁcant revenue
through in-app purchases, but since consumers are unwilling to pay for
most apps, and most app developers need to make money somehow, it
seems clear that ads in apps are a sure thing for the foreseeable future.
Given that, we believe it’s time to shift the conversation away from
whether there should be ads in apps at all, and instead determine how to
make ads in apps as interesting and relevant as possible for consumers,
and as efﬁcient and effective as possible for advertisers and developers.