OK, so this story has a primarily American slant but it's still interesting for us in Blighty as the information itself comes from London.
Basically, about two thirds of people who use apps have spent money on one on at least one occasion - on average, about £10 a month in total. Yet the closer you look, the more interesting things get.
The research comes courtesy of ABI Research:
“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.”
It adds up to a simple point: the contribution of the big-spending few makes the collective spend of the mobile-using public seem a lot higher than it is, and that the "average user" isn't just more of an untapped resource than it first seems, but is also a far larger group.
The numbers also show just where the spending lies, with the most successful traditionally having been those that are business focused and, can therefore, have a cost justified. After all, organisations are far more likely to pay than individuals. The other spending comes with games on iOS, where people pay for in-app purchases.
Free games are the most popular, but if developers want some advice on how to convert freegans to full payers, here it is:
"First, don’t get obsessed by mobile and apps, but remember also 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. 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."