The stats behind those mobile apps

The results of a recent survey confirm that two-thirds of app users have spent money on an application on at least one occasion.

Among paying users, the mean spent was $14 per month. However, behind the seemingly high average amount there are some rather interesting statistics. 

“The median amount among the consumers who spend money on apps is much lower than the average, just $7.50 per month,” explained senior ABI analyst analyst Aapo Markkanen. 

“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.”

According to Markkanen, the above-mentioned numbers also reflect certain trends in different app categories. For example, 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. As such, Markkanen has two recommendations to boost the conversion rate from free to premium.

“First, don’t get obsessed by mobile and apps, but also remember the web. 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,” he explained.

“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.”