Research firm Flurry Analytics recently published information regarding advertisement-supported free apps versus paid apps. It turns out that, even though there is a lot of negativity surrounding “freemium” apps, consumers actually prefer them to paid apps, even ones that are only $0.99.
According to data gathered from nearly 350,000 apps that use Flurry Analytics, users will download a free app any day of the week over a paid app. Additionally, they aren’t likely to pay the premium price to remove ad banners, either.
So, when consumers complain about how some game company is going to go bankrupt because they keep releasing free-to-play apps that no one wants, they are totally wrong. For every one person who hates freemium games there are hundreds of people who love them.
According to Flurry’s research, free apps rose from 84 percent to 90 percent from 2010 to 2013. There has got to be a reason why so many games are free in the App Store. Flurry claims it is consumer choice. “People want free content more than they want to avoid ads or to have the absolute highest quality content possible.”
Even though mobile device users prefer free content to paid, it turns out that iPad users are more willing to pay for content than any other device user. On average, iPad app prices in April of 2013 were 2.5 times higher than iPhone app prices and more than 8 times higher than Android app prices.
Flurry’s conclusion from this research is that, like television and radio, consumers are willing to sit through advertisements in order to receive content for free.
“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.”