Consumers Don't Mind Mobile Ads but Only if the Content is Free

Ads have yet to deeply penetrate the mobile experience to the same extent as online, television, radio, or even print. But as developers look to monetize the rising trend of people wielding smartphones, advertisements are popping up more and more.

Turns out, a lot of consumers accept the necessity of ads—but only when the content is accessible free of charge. So if an app can be downloaded for free and doesn't require any monetary output thereafter, mobile users tolerate ads. Otherwise, you're risking losing consumers due to an unsatisfying user experience.

New research from Nielsen suggests that most mobile users balance a collection of both paid and unpaid apps. For most genres of apps, 14% to 33% of users download both paid and unpaid apps, with as little as 7% refusing to pay for apps and up to 8% only downloading paid apps. These are encouraging signs for developers as they have two viable paths: paid apps with no apps or free apps with ads.

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Knowlton Thomas

Knowlton Thomas

Knowlton is the managing editor of Techvibes and author of Tempest Bound. Based in Vancouver, Knowlton has been published in national publications and has also appeared on television and radio. Previously he was an editor for New Westminster weekly The Other Press and served on its board of directors. When not working, Knowlton enjoys hiking, tennis, and martial arts. more

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