More than 70 percent of app users spend “nothing or very little,” while the top 3 percent account for nearly 20 percent of the total spend, according to a survey by ABI Research.
According to the company, about two-thirds of app users have spent money on an application on at least one occasion. Among these paying users, the mean spend was US$14 per month.
However, the company also noted that the median amount customers spent is lower than this, at US$7.50 per month. This reflects “the disproportionate role of big spenders as a revenue source,” it said.
ABI said that so far, the releases which have best succeeded in making money have typically been utility apps often used for business purposes, or iOS games monetised through in-app purchases. In both cases, “the money comes from a remarkably small base of customers,” it said.
Aapo Markkanen, senior analyst with the company, advised: “First, don’t get obsessed by mobile and apps, but remember also the web. Most of the successful app concepts either support, or are supported by, a web component. Second, see your product through a long-term lens, asking yourself what could convince your customers to still engage with the app in two years’ time.”