Two-thirds of app users in U.S. have paid for at least one
posted by Alan F. / May 15, 2012, 6:10 PM
Evernote's web site helps it succeed as a mobile app according to ABI Research
A new survey of U.S. consumers conducted by ABI Research found that two-thirds of Americans who use apps have purchased at least one. The average monthly invoice for those using paid apps is $14 while the median is $7.50 per month. The big difference between the average spend and the median indicates that it is just a few big spending app buyers that are accounting for the majority of purchases. And that is reflected in other statistics that show that the highest spending 3% of app buyers account for 20% of purchased titles. Over 70% spend little or nothing on apps.
The survey also discovered that those developers offering utility-type apps for business purposes have been raking in the money as have been those iOS developers who produced games with in-app purchases. The big question on the mind of these code jockeys is how best to convert users from free apps to paid ones. Senior ABI Research analyst Aapo Markkanen recommends that developers not forget the web. He says that most successful mobile apps also have a web presence. He also suggests that developers think of how they can get people to continue interacting with their app two-years in the future. He mentions Evernote as a good example of a mobile app with a strong web presence, which has become a habit to its customers.
LONDON – May 14, 2012
According to a US consumer survey conducted by ABI Research, about
two-thirds of app users have spent money on an application on at least
one occasion. Among these paying users, the mean spend was $14 per
month. Behind the seemingly high average amount there are, however, some
Senior analyst Aapo Markkanen explains, “The median amount among the
consumers who spend money on apps is much lower than the average, just
$7.50 per month. This reflects the disproportionate role of big spenders
as a revenue source. The highest-spending 3% of all app users account
for nearly 20% of the total spend, while over 70% spends either nothing
or very little.”
The numbers also reflect certain trends in different app categories.
Thus far, the releases that have best succeeded in making money have
typically been utility apps often used for business purposes, or iOS
games monetized through strings of in-app purchases. In both cases the
money comes from a remarkably small base of customers. Is there anything
developers can do to boost the conversion rate from free to premium?
Markkanen has two recommendations. “First, don’t get obsessed by
mobile and apps, but remember also the web,” he adds. “Most of the
successful app concepts either support, or are supported by, a web
component. Second, see your product through a long-term lens, asking
yourself what could convince your customers to still engage with the app
in two years’ time. Evernote, for example, has excelled at both. It has
skillfully combined the web and the mobile, and at the same time it has
also managed to become a habit for many of its users. It demonstrates
that the longer its customers stick around with a free version of an
app, the likelier they’re going to convert to its premium version.”
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