90 Per Cent of Apps Are Free, says Flurry

The proportion of iOS apps which are free has hit 90 per cent, according to a report from Flurry which looked 350,000 apps which use its Analytics platform, weighted by average monthly userbase.

Looking back over the past few years, 2011 was apparently the biggest year for paid apps, with the number of free downloads at 80 per cent.

Among paid apps, by far the most popular price was $0.99 – the minimum its possible to charge – accounting for six out of the total 10 per cent of paid apps in 2013.

Flurry also looked at how average prices compared across devices – and found that the iPad is by far the best platform for paid apps. Taking free downloads into account, the average app price on iPad was $0.50, compared to $0.19 on iPhone, and just $0.06 on Android.

“While consumers may not like in-app advertising, their behavior makes it clear that they are willing to accept it in exchange for free content, just as we have in radio, TV and online for decades,” said Mary Ellen Gordon, director, industry insights & analysis at Flurry. “In light of that, it seems that the conversation about whether apps should have ads is largely over. 

“Since consumers are unwilling to pay for most apps, and most app developers need to make money somehow, it seems clear that ads in apps are a sure thing for the foreseeable future. Given that, we believe it’s time to shift the conversation away from whether there should be ads in apps at all, and instead determine how to make ads in apps as interesting and relevant as possible for consumers, and as efficient and effective as possible for advertisers and developers.”