70% of Mobile Users Spend Little or Nothing on Apps, says Study

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.

[via TechCrunch]

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