Pinch Media On Lifespan Of Apps, Ads vs. Paid Models

According to information gathered by mobile research group Pinch Media, the average free app downloaded from the App Store has a less than 5% chance of being used for greater than 30 days after it was first downloaded. The group collected information from more than 30 million app downloads that they tracked as part of their analytics services they provide to developers, and the trends they found were pretty surprising.

Their data indicates that most of the free apps users download don’t hold their interest for very long, meaning either most free apps are crap or iPhone users have incredibly short attention spans.

The information was presented by Pinch Media cheif Greg Yardley at the iPhone Developers Meetup in New York.

According to the statistics they’ve generated, only about 20% of free apps get used for more than a single day, and less than 10% make it as far as 10 days. Paid apps don’t fair much better.

He also discussed the debate between offering apps for free and supporting them with ad revenue or charging for them upfront. His conclusion was that paid apps tend to be used for a slightly longer time than free ones, meaning few apps can survive based on advertising revenue. He concluded that “the typical application would have to bombard its users with ads to beat the money it’d make from paid sales.”

“In other words, unless there’s something inherent about the app that screams free, sell it,” he said.

You can check out his full presentation below:

While you can’t argue with the numbers he presents, we wonder how much of it has to do with being paid vs. free or in a certain category, or if it really depends on the quality of the app itself.

[via Apple Insider]

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