Survey: 28% of U.S. Adults Have Paid for an App or In-App Purchase

CivicScience found that older respondents were more likely to say they haven't paid for an app or in-app purchase.

Marketing intelligence company CivicScience released the results of its survey of 1,971 U.S. adults, which revealed that 28 percent of respondents had paid for a mobile application or for an in-app purchase within a mobile app.

The survey found that 71 percent of respondents hadn’t paid for apps or in-app purchases, and also had no plans to do so in the future. Another 1 percent of respondents said they hadn’t purchased an app or in-app purchase, but had plans to do so in the future.

CivicScience found that older respondents were more likely to say they haven’t paid for an app or in-app purchase. Specifically, of the 72 percent of users who said they hadn’t purchased an app or in-app purchase, 40 percent were baby boomers, while 35 percent were Generation X. Another 25 percent of respondents in this group were millennials.

By comparison, of the 28 percent of users who said they had purchased an app or in-app purchase, only 15 percent were baby boomers. Another 42 percent of respondents fell into Gen-X, while 43 percent of these respondents were millennials.

A blog post reads:

A younger audience who has grown up in an increasingly connected and digital world seem to have fewer qualms about buying a purely digital product. Whether it’s an in-app purchase for a power-up in Candy Crush or a lifestyle app from the Kardashian empire, they value these experiences enough to put a monetary value on them. Younger consumers will continue to spend, but that’s still only a small portion of the market.

On the other hand, older consumers may be more hesitant to see the value in an in-app purchase. The entire transaction is digital, and at the end of the day, the only thing you get is on your screen.

The market will only grow if the consumer base grows, so developers should consider strategies to bring older audiences to the paid app space.  It’s worth exploring apps that could sway older buyers into recognizing the value of a purely digital experience.

Readers: Have you ever paid for an app or made an in-app purchase?