Incentivized Apps Mostly Discarded or Ignored

December 15, 2011

harris-incentivized-apps-follow-up-actions-dec11.gif37% of smartphone owners who have downloaded an application for an incentive, such as free social or game points, say that they redeem the incentive and uninstall the app, while a further 25% receive the incentive and never use the app again, according to a survey released in December 2011 conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of Pontiflex. Data from the survey indicates that just 3% say they use the app often, while a similar proportion hardly ever uses the app (17%) as uses it occasionally (18%).

Free Apps Vastly Preferred

According to the survey, only 12% of US smartphone owners and 24% of tablet owners prefer to pay for apps in order not to see any ads. However, also notable is that the user experience of the in-app advertising is critical to its success: 57% of smartphone owners and 50% of tablet owners prefer free apps with ads that keep them within the app, rather than an experience that pulls them to a mobile browser.

Video Ads Get Poor Reception

Mobile video, though, does not appear to be the answer to keeping apps free. Only 7% of smartphone users and 15% of tablet users who have downloaded free apps say they prefer to see commercial/video ads that force them to watch a video. A primary complaint appears to be cost-related: slightly more than one-third of smartphone and tablet owners who download free apps are concerned that mobile video ads will increase the cost of their service plan.

Android App Users Stay Social

Meanwhile, according to December research from Nielsen, Facebook’s popular app is the most active among Android owners aged 18-24 and 25-34, who both hover at around an 80% active reach. Additionally more than three-quarters of Android smartphone users 35-44 used the app recently.

Google’s YouTube app also gets heavy usage from Android smartphone owners aged 18-24: almost two-thirds have used it in the past 30 days, compared to 56% of 25-34-year-olds and 51% of 35-44-year-olds.

According to other data released in November by Nielsen, iPhones and Android smartphones represent 83% of app downloads in the US. Nielsen figures show Android (42.8%) remaining the leading smartphone operating system, ahead of Apple (28.3%), while comScore October data gives Google a 46.3% share compared to Apple’s 28.1%.

About the Data: The Pontiflex survey was conducted online in November 2011 among more than 2,800 US adults. To rank mobile apps by active reach, that is, by the percentage of Android owners who used the app within the past 30 days, Nielsen analyzed usage data from its proprietary device meters on the smartphones of the thousands of consumer panelists who agreed to be part of Nielsen’s ongoing Smartphone Analytics research.

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