67% of Smartphone Owners Would Rather See Ads Than Pay for Premium Content

Consumers fine with promos-for-freebies exchange

Headshot of Christopher Heine

Fully 67 percent of smartphone users are willing to view ads to gain in-app premium content rather than pay for it, according to a Yankee Group study that was commissioned by Tapjoy. The study further finds that the number jumps to 73 percent when it comes to tablet users.

The research company also reports that 70 percent of smartphone users and 53 percent of tablet owners said they were willing to exchange personal information for a premium app download.

"Mobile device owners have demonstrated that they're willing to interact with a brand by exchanging their time—ad views—and personal data for free digital content," said Jordan McKee, Yankee Group analyst. "Since users chose to take part in this exchange, the engagement can be far more meaningful and powerful than a pop-up, banner or television advertisement."

Yankee Group and mobile advertising firm Tapjoy surveyed 2,076 smartphone and tablet users online for the report. A few other key takeaways:

– 54 percent said they had paid for in-app content at least once;

– 77 percent were willing to engage with ads to get a free app download;

– Paperback books (75 percent), interestingly, are the most popular items in exchange for viewing digital ads, followed by tablet in-app premium content and music (both at 73 percent) and then smartphone in-app premium content (67 percent).

@Chris_Heine Christopher Heine is a New York-based editor and writer.