Mobile Commerce Insider Featured Article

August 23, 2013

People Spending Real Money on In-App Purchases are Satisfied with Value

When creating an app, it’s important to think about how the app will generate revenue. Will users have to pay to download it, or will it be free to download, supported by ads or the ability to make in-app purchases for premium content? When considering the market for gaming apps, the most popular choice seems to be to follow the so-called “freemium” model, and it turns out that, despite some complaints, most users are satisfied with it.

Freemium games are free to download and play, but require real money in order to either level-up faster or access certain levels or features. This model is utilized by many of the most popular gaming apps, including “Candy Crush Saga,” “Temple Run,” “Clash of the Clans” and “Cut the Rope.”

Many users are quick to complain that spending money on an extra set of levels or other upgrades seems like a bad value, but according to a study from research firm EEDAR, this isn’t the case for the users who are actually doing the spending. The Guardian reported on this study and stated that roughly 85 percent of people who spent between $5 and $50 on in-app purchases in mobile games felt like they got a good value for their money. Satisfaction levels dropped to 67 percent for those users who spent over $100, but these users tend to be outliers.  

This spells out good news for the games’ players and developers alike. Players are happy with their purchases, while developers can rely on a simple monetization model and focus more on their games than how to capitalize off of them. Services and games that are free to use but require money for premium content are quickly becoming more common, and EEDAR’s study reveals that this monetization model seems to be working.




Edited by Alisen Downey




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