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19/06/2012 by

Why Tablet Users Will Hug Ad-Supported Apps?

Mobile will be the next gateway to content, communities, commerce, brands and friends. And the second screen might become the first screen for several audiences. But will tablet users hug paid or ad-supported apps…?

A new generation does prefer free tablet apps, the ones that are ad-supported. A new opportunity for brands and publishers?

Personally I prefer paid apps for my iPhone and iPad, but who cares? I’m part of the lost generation; stuck between gen-x and gen-y.

I was that guy who was buying his vinyl records back in the eighties. I used to pay money for great content, and I still tend to do so today.

But that makes me a couch potato, that likes to watch TV for several hours a day, zapping away as much as I can. At least, if you believe market research and studies that do tend to basket us by socio-demographics.

Image provided by Shutterstock

Fact is that the number of people who use tablets is exploding around the globe. Also the usage of tablets keeps increasing, so we seem to be screenagers, addicted to our tablet screens.

But these tablet users have not all embraced paid apps for their mobile devices.

A new study in the USA, commissioned by the Online Publishers Association shows that 54% of the tablet users prefer free, ad-supported apps over paid ones, up from 40% a year ago.

At the same time, just 19% of users say they prefer to pay more for apps with no ads, down from 30% last year.

No reason for panic, since this trend could have been expected when tablet penetration would go over the chasm or its tipping point.

So although consumers often state in studies that they don’t like ads, given the choice between paid apps and free ad-supported apps, more of them tend to prefer ad-supported ones in real life.

So this offers CMOs the opportunities to offer free but branded tablet apps to reach and engage their targets. And to add pieces of meaningfulness to their lives around a topic or passion.

This trend also offers publishers and entertainment companies the opportunities to offer their user bases free ad-supported apps and to earn money with mobile in-app advertising.

An example? The popular ad-supported Wordfeud app in the iTunes store is free. If users want an ad-free app they can upgrade to the premium Wordfeud app for € 2,39.

More and more users are buying other tablets than the iPad, like i.e. Samsung Galaxy and others.

And I do understand that movement: I recently sold my iPad2 since it does not support flash, which has made my mobile surfing an increasingly annoying experience. Sorry Apple, wrong bet.

The majority of tablet users (61%) have purchased some type of content on their devices, whether it is a movie, book or news subscription, according to the study.

Of those people, 39% have bought either a magazine subscription or a single issue of a magazine in the last 12 months, and 15% have bought a newspaper subscription.

Tablet users spent an average of $359 on all purchases via their tablet in the last 12 months, including content, clothes, food and other non-content purchases.

And 54% of those who have bought content say they have made a purchase as a result of seeing a tablet ad, compared to 38% for those who haven’t paid for any content.

The key take-outs of this story:
1. Mobile is the next gateway to: content, communities, commerce, brands and friends
2. Tablet users and tablet usage: is going over the chasm around the globe
3. OPA study shows opportunities: for brands and publishers with ad-supported apps

We’d love to hear your thoughts: Free ad-supported apps or paid apps? iPad or other tablet?

Source: AdAge


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