Users put price on free apps - Mobile World Live

Users put price on free apps

06 AUG 2019

Consumers claimed they would pay as much as $4.20 per month to access popular apps if those services were no longer offered for free, marketing company McGuffin Creative Group found.

In an online survey, 2,004 consumers aged 18 to 71 years old were asked what they would be willing to pay if a subscription fee were required for some of the most popular free apps. Though they were given the option to say they would pay nothing and stop using the service, a majority of users were content to shell out a small monthly fee.

WhatsApp had the largest percentage of users willing to pay (89 per cent); Google Drive, FaceTime and LinkedIn tied for second (79 per cent); with Google Maps and the company’s Translate app tied for third (78 per cent).

Users were least willing to pay for Facebook (64 per cent), Venmo (66 per cent) and Messenger (66 per cent).

Respondents said they would pay the most for YouTube (an average of $4.20), Google Maps ($3.48) and Google Drive ($3.31).

The rates chosen by users would amount to an annual cost of less than $51 per app. McGuffin Creative Group noted the companies behind these popular titles could “make extraordinary sums of money at these price points, given the number of users they’ve accumulated”.

For instance, at the $4.20 per month rate, McGuffin Creative Group projected YouTube could boost revenue by more than 1,900 per cent over the $3.4 billion earned through advertising sales alone in 2018.

The marketing company insisted its goal with the survey was “not to provide a roadmap to greater technology-industry profitability, but to instead show that our digital world has upended the old idea that there’s no value in receiving something for nothing”.



Diana Goovaerts

Diana is Mobile World Live's US Editor, reporting on infrastructure and spectrum rollouts, regulatory issues, and other carrier news from the US market. Diana came to GSMA from her former role as Editor of Wireless Week and CED Magazine, digital-only...

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