As paid app downloads fall, should developers find new strategy?

As paid app downloads fall, should developers find new strategy?
Covering a range of topics within key technology sectors, including apps, development, marketing and IT, Dani is Online Editor of Cloud Tech. Contact her via Twitter on @Dani_Millward

Less than half of mobile phone and tablet users have paid for an application they have downloaded.

A survey by Pew Internet & American Life found that, out of 2,260 US adults, 46% have paid for an app, equalling to 16% of all US adults.

The increase of the number of people downloading apps shows that the percentage has grown from last year, where 13% of all adults pay for apps.

Around half of those who pay have spent no more than $5, whereas 17% have paid $20 or more for a single app.

App developers may find the study unsettling, as more consumers are choosing to download free apps as opposed to paying for them.

Developers should start to look into other ways to help monetise apps, without the initial price tag, including:

  • Offering a free/’lite’ version of an app that users can use, followed by the option to download for the full paid version.
  • Selling add-ons and extra levels within gaming apps.
  • Offering subscriptions to receive fast changing content in an app, such as newspapers and music.
  • In-app advertising and pay-per-click, where relevant in the app, could drive revenue.

Research also found that tablet owners are more likely to pay for an app than those with smartphones.

This shows that developers may want to look into app development for media tablets, as users are more likely to pay higher prices for apps.

To learn more about the future of devices, multiplatform apps and the latest opportunities for developers, visit on 29-30 November in London, and hear from leading global brands and industry experts.


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