60-Second Tech

Most Users Are App Freeloaders

The vast majority of mobile device users get only free or cheap apps. Larry Greenemeier reports

When's the last time you treated yourself to a new mobile app? Okay, when's the last time you actually paid for an app? If you're like me, the answer was never. At least not until a few nights ago, when I sprang for an app called "Cholesterol Food Reference.” It lists different foods and their cholesterol content. Free apps are okay for following sports or movies, but this is a little more serious and, to me, worth the $2 asking price.

According to a recent ABI Research survey of 2,000 people, more than 70 percent opt for free or cheap apps. What keeps app makers in business are the three percent of users who account for about 20 percent of total spending on apps.

These big spenders shell out about $14 monthly, mostly on business apps or iOS games. They get hooked by the initial app, which may even be free, then end up paying for upgrades. This actually creates a loyalty between app developer and user that serves both well over time. The rest of us get what we pay for. Or don't pay for.

—Larry Greenemeier

[The above text is a transcript of this podcast.]


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