There’s gold in them thar apps, or so we’ve been led to believe. But according to a recent study put together by ABI Research, most people who use mobile apps spend no money on (or in) them at all.
ABI’s study concluded that up to 70% of mobile users spend ‘either nothing or very little’ on/in their applications. In fact, 20% of direct sales are conducted by the mobile industry’s ‘Big Spenders;” the elite 3% that spends a monthly average of $50 on digital content on a year-to-year basis.
Of course, most of us spend a little money on our apps every once in a while, but that’s the difference: average users spend a dollar here or there, which averages to less than $2.50 a month. Not a very healthy number when you have employees to pay and overhead to take care of, which makes that rare but vital participation from Richie-Rich all the more important.
That’s part of the reason why ABI warns app developers to seek balance. ‘Don’t get obsessed by mobile and apps, but remember also the web,’ ABI senior analyst Aapo Markkanen said in a press release that accompanied the report. ‘Most of the successful app concepts either support, or are supported by, a web component.’
ABI’s report also identified that the apps best at making money are business-oriented utility apps, and (unsurprisingly) in-app purchases for freemium games. In both cases, the money comes from a very small consumer pool. So while we encourage developers to go ahead and break out the champagne whenever somebody buys ten thousand bushels of Smurf Berries, it’s never a good idea to put all your Smurfs into one basket.