Mobile In-App Purchases Account For Nearly 75% Of Apple App Store Revenue

in Apple, Mobile | by Jon-Paul Raymond | 0 30.03.2013
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Mobile In-App Purchases

Developers looking to make money might want to focus on mobile game app design with some creative in-app purchase ideas.

A few years ago things really began to take off for the mobile app business when Apple began allowing in-app purchases in their developers programs sold through the App Store. The mobile app business began generating an enormous amount of money. Some of it illegally as was discussed in our article “Apple Repays The Parents Of Children Who Made In-App Purcahses” but some of it in very developmental ways as well with companies such as Verizon trying to change the tide of corruptive marketing through the use of mobile app, as discussed in our article, “The Verizon Innovative App Challenge: Kids Building Mobile Apps For Kids To Combat The Use Of Destructive Technology”

A report was put together recently with some mobile app statistics in it that show just how far this mobile in-app purchase design has come. The analytics done give us some pretty interesting insight as to the average revenue per download (ARPD) made through in-app purchases from the Q1 2012 to the end of Q1 2013 and sheds light on just what people are actually making in-app purchases in the most.

Games. Games. Games.

Distimo found that the top grossing in-app purchase applications today form App Store downloads were as follows:

1. Clash of Clans

2. Candy Crush Saga

3. Hay Day

4. Marvel War of Heroes

And all the way down games rule the list. Turbo Tax (a business application to help you DIY taxes) came in at number 10. Besides that though, games rule what people buy when making in-app purchases.

Distimo says that, “In-app purchases (IAP) now generate the majority of the revenue in the app stores” and that more than 50% of all revenue generated by Apple’s App Store in early 2012 were generated by such in-app sales. Now though here in early 2013, that number has even jumped to more than 75% of all revenue generated by the App-Store, coming through in-app purchases.

I for one believe that the reason for such a huge percentage coming from in-app sales is that in-app sales is almost like a “Try & Buy” business model. You give the app away for free, which people love to download and do so most. Then if you’ve written an interesting app that attracts and really peaks players interest, then you sell them a little something along the way to keep them moving along in the game. That’s only a personal theory though not based on any study, but pure experience.

Just a few days ago in our article, “The Current State of Mobility…” we said that, “mobile development and mobility accommodations in general (apps, hardware, accessories, etc). are certainly the wave of the present and near future”. To narrow that conclusion down even further though, its certainly safe to say that the design and use of in-app purchases by developers of games are truly the “wave of the present and near future”.

To view the entire Distimo report, click here

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