Apps want to be free, and we love ads

We all hate advertising, right?


In fact, the vast majority of us are very happy to have advertising, according to a recent report by Flurry, which powers analytics for nearly 350,000 apps. The evidence? In 2011, 80 percent of apps were free. Today, 90 percent of apps are free, with monetization provided via good old we-gather-an-audience-and-sell-its-attention strategy that has worked since the dawn of modern media.

By inevitable corollary, the slice of apps that ask us to fork over cold hard cash has shrunk to a skinny little 10 percent wedge.

“We simply see this as the outcome of consumer choice: People want free content more than they want to avoid ads or to have the absolute highest quality content possible,” Flurry’s Mary Ellen Gordon writes.
That data is from the Apple app store, which has the best historical data, Flurry says, since it has been in operation longest. But Android pricing is even cheaper — yes, the perception is reality — and there’s really only one place where we’re paying somewhat significant prices for apps.

That would be iPad.

iPad app pricing has traditionally been higher than iPhone or Android, and Flurry’s numbers bear that out. While the average app on Google Play is just $0.06 and the average app for iPhone is $0.19, iPad’s average app price is $0.50. That’s almost nine times the average Android price and 2.5 times the average iPhone price.