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July App Study: How Much Will we Spend on an App or Monthly Streaming Service

August 12, 2014 - Written By Cory McNutt

Branchfire – a company that develops productivity apps – is releasing a study they conducted in July with a Nielsen/Harris Poll on how consumers feel about paying for their apps.  They are probably doing this because most productivity apps cost money, and we are not talking the $0.99 – $1.99 range as generally some productivity apps can run in double digits.  The study is looking at what our threshold for ‘pain’ or spending money is on applications, especially so with more ‘subscription’ type apps that require a monthly fee to use, such as Netflix, Spotify, Pandora, Redbox, and many more.  Is there an amount for one-time purchase apps that consumers will finally say, “no more” – or what about the streaming type apps…just how much are we willing to spend a month.

First, let’s get a few facts about ownership of households of parents with children under 18 – 86-percent own a smartphone or tablet – 77-percent own a smartphone – and 62-percent own a tablet.  A number that I thought would be higher is that only 75-percent of consumers with either a smartphone or a tablet have downloaded a free app, while 5-percent have paid a one-time fee for their most recent app purchase and 6-percent paid for a subscription app for their most recent purchase.  There are 11-percent of smartphone/tablet users that have NEVER downloaded an app, while 57-percent have never downloaded a one-time paid app and 43-percent have paid for a one-time app – close to a 50/50 percentage.  70-percent have downloaded 10 or more apps, 43-percent have downloaded 20 or more apps and 20-percent have downloaded 30 or more apps…what category do you fall in to?

Overall, 43-percent of smartphone/tablet users have paid for a one-time app and of those 84-percent paid at most $9.99 or less.  Of the 37-percent owners that have subscribed to a monthly subscription based app: 11-percent chose a productivity app – while 57-percent are streaming movies/TV – almost a third (30-percent) subscribe to a monthly gaming service – a fourth (27-percent) pay monthly for streaming music – and lastly, 25-percent subscribe to news/magazines.

65-percent of the parents with children under eighteen have downloaded 10 or more apps to their current smartphone/tablet, while 44-percent have downloaded 20 or more apps and 20-percent have downloaded more than 30 apps.  Almost half (48-percent) say they have never paid for an app, while 62-percent do subscribe to a monthly service for streaming movies/TV.  Not surprising, almost a third (31-percent) of the households pay for a monthly gaming service.  A fourth of the households subscribe monthly for books and 16-percent subscribe to stream music.

What are we willing to pay for a one-time app?  Well, 84-percent say the most they have paid for an app is $9.99 or less, while 63-percent say the most they paid was $4.99 or less and lastly, 31-percent have only paid $1.99 or less.  What are we willing to pay for more costly subscription-based apps?  Almost half of us are willing to pay for a subscription-based app, and about half of those are willing to spend no more than $25 each month – only 2-percent would pay more than $25.  We have 31-percent that said they would they would pay less than $10 a month – luckily there are many $9.99 monthly subscriptions out there.  The apps they would pay the most on a subscription would be for streaming TV and movies.

Sixty percent of users said that they could not live without apps on their smartphones/tablets and 23-percent said they could not live without an email app – I though that would be higher – and 10-percent said that they could not live without a social media app – again, that is way lower than I would have guessed, especially since social media is so hot and the apps are generally free. I would be very curious to see how many could not live without a messaging app?

Please hit us up on our Google+ Page and let us know your app habits – just what are your favorite apps and how much are you willing to pay for them…as always, we would love to hear from you.

Branchfire Mobile Study 1 Branchfire Mobile Study 2