Most Apps are downloaded for free, But that doesn’t mean they are not making money for their owner. In App purchases are really adding up and generating profits for their owners. If you are thinking about app development as a revenue generator then a free app is often the most profitable route to take and why free apps rule in the app stores.
In 2012 the total download was 25 billion apps. Of which 22 billion were free downloads. The total number of apps downloaded across all platforms so far in 2013 is a staggering 46 billion. Most of these are on the Android and on Apple platforms. According to data from consulting firm App Manifesto, more than half – 58 per cent – of apps in the US Appstore are free, with a further 21 per cent costing just 99p.
So why provide an app for free? Answer: “In app purchases”.
Most apps which come free contain some form of I app purchase element whereby the user is invited to purchase additional services or functionality once they have the free app. The free app is acting like a shop window. The actual goods for sale are there in the “window” and purchasable seamlessly as in app purchases. App Developers UK have released many such apps and our experience suggests that the trend towards free apps is strengthening rather than decreasing.
May of the gaming apps contain in app purchase opportunities as we featured recently with regard to the Ofcom investigation. However there are also a huge slew of business or self-help apps with in app purchasable content so its important not to think of this mechanism as purely a gaming app phenomenon because it applies across the whole spectrum of apps.