Tablet App Market Hits $2.6B: OPA Report

Tablet users spent an estimated $2.6 billion in 2012, up from $1.4 billon in 2011, according to a new report from the Online Publisher’s Association. The report also found that paid apps account for 23 percent of all apps downloaded in the past year, and that 72 percent of tablet users have paid for tablet apps in the past year.

The OPA study reinforces the monetization opportunities on the device. Nearly a quarter of apps downloaded in the past year were paid,” said Pam Horan, president of the Online Publishers Association. “It is very encouraging to see that consumers are opening up their wallets to access original content with the top paid content categories being magazines, entertainment, sports and weather.”

The report also found that 94 percent of tablet users access content and information regularly and that 67 percent of users use tablets to access the internet and 66 percent of users use their tablets to check email. More than half of users watch videos on their device, almost half use it to check the weathers, 41 percent use them to read local news and 37 percent to read national news, and 36 percent of users use their tablets for entertainment.

“Accessing content is the dominant activity on the tablet and the availability of content via apps and the mobile web is a key to the success of tablets,” said Horan. “Consumers are showing a healthy appetite for paid content with 61% having purchased tablet content in the past year.”

Tablet adoption is up and is expected to rise. According to the report, an estimated 31 percent of the U.S. Internet population ages 8-64, or 74 million people use a tablet, which is up from 12 percent of the population in 2011. That number is projected to rise to 47 percent to 117 million by 2013.

“Also, as more tablets are introduced at different price points, the growth in tablet adoption will continue,” said Horan. “The impact we have seen with the tablet since it was launched two and a half years ago short years ago far exceeds the adoption of any other consumer technology.”