SOURCE: Branchfire


September 23, 2014 13:28 ET

Free Apps Reign Supreme for Smartphone and Tablet Owners

CHICAGO, IL--(Marketwired - Sep 23, 2014) - Branchfire, makers of the Folia and iAnnotate apps, today announced the results of research that it conducted on consumer attitudes towards the cost of apps. The online survey, conducted in July by Harris Poll on behalf of Branchfire among more than 2,000 U.S. adults aged 18+, found that while some smartphone and tablet owners are downloading 30 or more apps for their devices, fewer than half (43 percent) actually pay for them.

  • Smartphone/Tablet Owners Love Free: While 62 percent of smartphone/tablet owners have downloaded ten or more apps for their devices, just 43 percent of those users have paid for [a one-time app purchase].
  • Frequent Buyers: 38 percent of smartphone/tablet owners have downloaded 20 or more apps to their current device and 17 percent of smartphone/tablet owners are frequent buyers who have downloaded more than 30 apps onto their current smartphones and/or tablets.
  • $4.99 is the Price Wall for One-time App Purchases: Just 43 percent of smartphone/tablet owners paid for a one-time purchase of an app. Of those consumers, 84% have paid $9.99 or less for a one-time app; 63 percent say the most they have paid for one-time app is $4.99 or less; 31 percent say the most they have paid for one-time app is $1.99 or less.
  • 21% Of Smartphone/Tablet Owners Pay to Stream Movies/TV: 37 percent of smartphone/tablet owners subscribe to monthly subscription-based apps. Of those who subscribe to monthly subscription-based apps, 57 percent pay for a monthly subscription app to stream TV/movies; 30 percent pay monthly for games and 27 percent pay monthly to stream music.
  • Small Growth for Subscriptions Overall: 49 percent of consumers who own a smartphone or tablet said they'd be willing to pay for a monthly subscription app. With 37 percent of smartphone/tablet owners already subscribing to monthly subscription-based apps, this points to a small rate (just 12 percent) of growth to penetrate.
  • 10 Dollars a Month is Sweet Spot for Subscribers: 31 percent of smartphone/tablet owners said they'd be willing to pay less than $10 a month for a subscription app, with 8 percent saying that less than $3 was their price point. Just 2% of smartphone/tablet owners said they would pay $25 or more for a monthly subscription app.
  • A Large Amount of Consumers Still Use Standard Mobile Phones: 33 percent of consumers still use a standard phone.

This survey was conducted online within the United States between July 8-10, 2014 among 2,042 adults (aged 18 and over), of which 1,298 own a tablet or smartphone, by Harris Poll on behalf of Branchfire via its Quick Query omnibus product. Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was used to adjust for respondents' propensity to be online.

All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. Therefore, the words "margin of error" are avoided as they are misleading. All that can be calculated are different possible sampling errors with different probabilities for pure, unweighted, random samples with 100% response rates. These are only theoretical because no published polls come close to this ideal.

Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in our surveys. The data have been weighted to reflect the composition of the adult population. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate in the online panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

About Branchfire
Branchfire builds software and tools that simplify how people work. Its award-winning iAnnotate app allows users to read, mark up, and share documents and images on an iPad or Android tablet. The company also offers an enterprise version of iAnnotate for large organizations and a powerful software development kit (SDK). Over one million people worldwide use applications powered by Branchfire. Based in Chicago, Branchfire is a privately-held company. Learn more at